Google, Mercedes-Benz and Nvidia Team Up To Push Self-Driving Tech

Sep 14, 2016 05:45 AM EDT | Eve C.

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Is Google going to team up with Mercedes-Benz and Nvidia for improving self-driving technology? Not quite, but former Google chief executive Sebastian Thrun is.

Thrun has been developing an online education company called Udacity since 2012 after leaving the tech company. Currently, he is planning to seal a partnership with the mentioned companies in order to improve the technology of autonomous cars.

According to Forbes, the Udacity's objective is to train engineers to become more knowledgeable about the emerging demand for self-driving cars. They have what are called "nanodegree" programs to help the trainees familiarize with the current technology.

Aside from Mercedes-Benz and Nvidia, Otto and Chinese firm Didi Chuxing will join the partnership as well. They are looking forward to creating a highly-designed brain for autonomous cars.

Notably, the program will last for 12 weeks and cost $800 per term. Udacity has been accepting enrollees but will notify the successful candidates in October.

The program will teach the students about "deep learning, computer vision, sensor fusion, localization, and controllers."

"To this end, we have our own Udacity car that students will work on to build and run codes," the former Google CEO said.

"Technology companies, automotive manufacturers, media giants and start-ups around the world are rapidly pushing new advances in this space, whether it be hardware or software. And, they all need talent."

On the other hand, head of the autonomous driving group at Mercedes' Silicon Valley research center, Alex Gern, revealed that they help Thrun in outlining the nanodegree programs. 

A previous report revealed that another former Google exec, Chris Urmson left the pool of members who are pushing to develop Google's self-driving cars as well. Urmson is yet to unveil his next step after leaving the firm.

To know more about Udacity and its relation to self-driving technology, simply click here.

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