Senior Software Engineer, Motion Planning

  • Cruise
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Jan 16, 2021

Job Description

We're Cruise, a self-driving service designed for the cities we love.

We’re building the world’s most advanced, self-driving vehicles to safely connect people to the places, things, and experiences they care about. We believe self-driving vehicles will help save lives, reshape cities, give back time in transit, and restore freedom of movement for many.

Cruisers have the opportunity to grow and develop while learning from leaders at the forefront of their fields. With a culture of internal mobility, there's an opportunity to thrive in a variety of disciplines. This is a place for dreamers and doers to succeed.

If you are looking to play a part in making a positive impact in the world by advancing the revolutionary work of self-driving cars, join us.

The Motion Planning team creates the desired trajectory for the AV using high resolution trajectory optimization methods that consider dynamic feasibility, constraint satisfaction for safe driving (such as obstacle avoidance), and comfort.

We collaborate with Maneuver Planning on the overall planning stack architecture, decision-making algorithm development, and how best to separate contextual decision-making from high-fidelity trajectory optimization. We work with Vehicle Controls on vehicle modeling, path following, and interfaces to lower controls layers to ensure that the physical vehicle is able to smoothly and accurately execute the planned trajectory.

Our algorithms are directly responsible for determining the trajectory of the AV, and thus our work is critically important for the success and safety of the Cruise product. Our work involves knowledge of the latest methods in numerical optimization, a deep understanding of vehicle dynamics and control, and awareness of all of the contextual nuances of human driving and higher level planning. We push the boundaries of numerical computation while ensuring the robustness needed to achieve safety in all real-world scenarios.

We are looking for a model predictive control / trajectory optimization specialist to help us formulate, implement, tune and test our trajectory optimization algorithms to more safely and smoothly drive the car through challenging situations and conditions.

What you’ll be doing:

  • Take algorithms from conception to implementation and deployment.
  • Analyze performance from simulation and real-world testing (on public roads and closed-course test tracks), root cause issues, identify areas for improvement.
  • Tune costs and parameters to improve car behavior.
  • Implement readable, testable, and extensible algorithms and interfaces in C++ within our software stack.
  • Create and improve test frameworks and visualization tools to aid understanding of algorithm performance and increase iteration speed.
  • Create test plans for new features and define useful metrics for analyzing performance.

What you must have:

  • 2-3+ years of industry work in motion planning or related field.
  • Deep understanding of model predictive control and trajectory optimization algorithms, including practical experience with tuning.
  • Practical experience with runtime performance of optimization algorithms.
  • Good understanding of dynamics fundamentals and geometric algorithms.
  • Good grasp of classical or modern controls.
  • Experience writing C++ in a production environment -- unit testing, code review, algorithm performance and tradeoffs, etc. 
  • Modern software development (version control, code review, unit testing, CI, etc)
  • Ph.D., M.S. in controls, optimization, path planning, or equivalent field. B.S. with strong work experience in the field may be considered.

Bonus points!

  • Experience with autonomous vehicles
  • Experience in code optimization or high performance computing
  • Experience writing numerical optimization algorithms

Why Cruise?

  • Our benefits are here to support the whole you:
    • Competitive salary and benefits 
    • 401(k) Cruise matching program 
    • Medical / dental / vision, AD+D and Life
    • One Medical membership
    • Flexible vacation and company paid holidays
    • Healthy meals and snacks provided for non-remote employees
    • Paid parental leave
    • Fertility Benefits 
    • Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account, subsidized by Cruise
    • Flexible Spending Account 
    • Monthly wellness stipend
    • Pre-tax Commuter Benefit Plan for non-remote employees
  • We’re Remote Friendly
    • We believe that your value to the team can be provided at a Cruise office or from the comfort of your home. Depending on your function, enjoy the flexibility of remote work and join our growing community of remote employees in the continental United States.
  • We’re Integrated
    • Through our partnerships with General Motors and Honda, we are the only self-driving company with fully integrated manufacturing at scale.
  • We’re Funded
    • GM, Honda, Microsoft, SoftBank, & T. Rowe Price, have invested billions in Cruise. Their backing for our technology demonstrates their confidence in our progress, team, and vision and makes us one of the leading autonomous vehicle organizations in the industry. Our deep resources greatly accelerate our operating speed.
  • We’re Independent
    • We have our own governance, board of directors, equity, and investors. Our independence allows us to not just work on the edge of technology, but also define it.
  • We’re Vested
    • You won’t just own your work here, you’ll have the potential to own equity in Cruise, too. We are competing in a market that is projected to grow exponentially, which gives our company valuation room to grow.

Cruise LLC is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a supportive and inclusive workplace where contributions are valued and celebrated, and our employees thrive by being themselves and are inspired to do the best work of their lives. 

We seek applicants of all backgrounds and identities, across race, color, ethnicity, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy or parental status, or disability. Applicants will not be discriminated against based on these or other protected categories or social identities. Cruise will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records, in accordance with applicable laws.

Cruise is committed to the full inclusion of all applicants. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process please let our recruiting team know or email

We proactively work to design hiring processes that promote equity and inclusion while mitigating bias. To help us track the effectiveness and inclusivity of our recruiting efforts, please consider answering the following demographic questions. Answering these questions is entirely voluntary. Your answers to these questions will not be shared with the hiring decision makers and will not impact the hiring decision in any way. Instead, Cruise will use this information not only to comply with any government reporting obligations but also to track our progress toward meeting our diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging objectives.

Note to Recruitment Agencies: Cruise does not accept unsolicited agency resumes. Furthermore, Cruise does not pay placement fees for candidates submitted by any agency other than its approved partners.

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Electric Cars

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