RMIT partners with Udacity to launch self-driving cars course

RMIT University has announced an Australia-first partnership with global tech education leader Udacity, which is set to bring Silicon Valley learning on Self-Driving Cars and AI Programming to Australia.

Under the partnership, RMIT will introduce four new courses, including “Intro to Self Driving Cars online program”, “AI Programming with Python”, “Robotics Software Engineer” and “Front End Web Developer.”

The courses have been developed to address critical skills shortages in emerging technologies, while also providing a credit pathway into a traditional degree, according to the university.

recent study from the Australian Industry Group found that 75 per cent of organisations in Australia reported skills shortages when recruiting for jobs relating to automation, big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President Martin Bean said RMIT and Udacity are targeting to up-skill the Australian workforce by preparing the learners for jobs in the digital age.

“Through this exciting partnership, we are embedding some of the best technology and education from Silicon Valley directly into RMIT,” he said.

“These new courses truly harness the creativity and industry connections RMIT is renowned for as we prepare our students for the future world of work.”

The courses are designed to provide a similar learning experience to students as developed in Silicon Valley, combined with personalised support from experts drawn from local industry partners and employers, including Holden, GitHub, Culture Amp, Kapsch and Accenture.

While companies including Holden have already started recruiting for specialist engineers in this space, until today, there were no dedicated courses in Australia enabling these skills to be developed at scale.

RMIT Online CEO Helen Souness said disruptive changes to business models would have a profound impact on the employment landscape over the coming years.

“We are working to address these skills gaps and companies and individuals must make a concerted effort to plan and upskill to meet the demands of the changing workforce,” she said.

“Recognising strong parallels in Udacity’s vision, we are thrilled to collaborate to bring the Silicon Valley mindset to Australia’s workforce and beyond.”

Udacity has collaborated with numerous Silicon Valley powerhouses including Google, Facebook and NVIDIA, and gives students the skills to advance their careers through a series of online courses in hands-on technologies across high-demand subjects, from self-driving cars to data science.

Founder of Udacity and Google’s self-driving car project, Sebastian Thrun, said he was excited to combine the best of Silicon Valley with RMIT’s local industry partnerships and mentors.

“Researchers estimate that autonomous cars will save 10 million lives per decade. It’s an exciting, challenging and infinitely rewarding space to be working together with RMIT Online to educate Australians for the future,” he said.