Software Engineer, Motion Planning (Autonomy)

    • Palo Alto, CA

At Lyft, our mission is to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation. To do this, we start with our own community by creating an open, inclusive, and diverse organization.

We care deeply about delivering the best transportation experience; this means the best experience for the passenger and the best experience for the driver. We believe this quality of service can only be achieved with a deep understanding of our world, our cities, our streets… how they evolve, how they breathe. We embrace the powerful positive impact autonomous transportation will bring to our everyday lives and with our ambition, we will become a leader in the development and operation of such vehicles. Thanks to our network, with hundreds of millions of rides every year, we have the means to make autonomy a safe reality. As a member of Level 5, you will have the opportunity to develop and deploy tomorrow’s hardware & software solutions and thereby revolutionize transportation.

As part of the Autonomy Team, you will be interacting on a daily basis with other software engineers to tackle highly advanced AI challenges. Eventually, we expect all Autonomy Team members to work on a variety of problems across the autonomy space; however, with a focus on planning and control, your work will initially involve taking the output from the perception and localization systems to determine a short, medium, and long-term course of action. For this position, we are looking for a software engineer with a strong level of expertise in AI or robotics who deeply understands autonomous vehicles.

  • Work on core planning and control algorithms such as routing, behavior planning, trajectory planning, feedback controllers, etc
  • Develop state-of-the-art algorithms for planning under uncertainty
  • Develop state-of-the-art methods that leverage machine learning and large scale data for motion planning
  • Develop a behavioral reasoning framework to support navigation in complex traffic scenarios, such as lane changes, merges, double-parked vehicles, and blind turns
  • Develop functionally safe systems that fail gracefully and safely exit traffic when difficult situations arise
  • Implement real-time algorithms on CPU/GPU in C++
  • Leverage state of the art machine learning frameworks like PyTorch to train machine learned motion planning components 
  • Build tools and infrastructure to verify and evaluate the performance of the planner/controller over time
  • Ability to produce production-quality C++ and Python code
  • Strong background in planning, predictions, machine learning, robotics, algorithms, model predictive control, vehicle dynamics, and data structures
  • Ability to build applications for robot motion planning using a broad range of tools such as numerical optimization, machine learning, feedback control, system modeling, etc
  • Ability to develop safety-critical planning systems for low-latency compute platforms
  • Bachelor's degree or higher in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Robotic, Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Math, or related field
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and collaborate across teams and disciplines
  • (Nice to Have) Hands-on experience with building a planning stack for mobile robots, from high-level route planning on road graphs and behavioral reasoning to trajectory optimization and low-level feedback control
  • (Nice to Have) Experience with robot motion planning techniques like trajectory optimization, sampling-based planning, model predictive control, etc
  • (Nice to Have) Experience with traffic agent intention modeling
  • (Nice to Have) Experience with GPU programming in CUDA or OpenCL
  • (Nice to Have) Experience with Machine Learning Frameworks like PyTorch or TensorFlow


  • Great medical, dental, and vision insurance options

  • Mental health benefits

  • In addition to 12 observed holidays, salaried team members have unlimited paid time off, hourly team members have 15 days paid time off

  • 401(k) plan to help save for your future

  • 18 weeks of paid parental leave. Biological, adoptive, and foster parents are all eligible

  • Pre-tax commuter benefits

  • Lyft Pink - Lyft team members get an exclusive opportunity to test new benefits of our Ridership Program

Lyft is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer that proudly pursues and hires a diverse workforce. Lyft does not make hiring or employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion or religious belief, ethnic or national origin, nationality, sex, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by applicable local, state, or federal laws or prohibited by Company policy. Lyft also strives for a healthy and safe workplace and strictly prohibits harassment of any kind. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance and other similar state laws and local ordinances, and its internal policy, Lyft will also consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

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