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Ford Motor Company Autonomous Vehicle Software Engineer - Perception in Palo Alto, California


Job Title:

Autonomous Vehicle Software Engineer - Perception

Job Description & Qualifications:

At Ford Motor Company, we believe freedom of movement drives human progress. We also believe in providing you with the freedom to define and realize your dreams! With our incredible plans for the future of mobility, we have a wide variety of opportunities for you to accelerate your career potential as you help us define tomorrow’s transportation.

Autonomous Vehicles will play a major role in many of these upcoming mobility solutions. In fact, Autonomous Vehicles will play a key role in the future of Ford, in the future of transportation, and in the future of how people interact with their world.

This future is being created today by Ford’s AV LLC team. This fun, fast paced, innovative group of highly skilled and motivated people is looking for candidates to support research and developmental efforts in producing fully-autonomous vehicles (SAE Level 4).

What you’ll be able to do:

We are seeking a detail-driven professional for our position of “Autonomous Vehicle Software Engineer - Perception”. This position entails developing, implementing, and testing perception algorithms for scene understanding using Computer Vision and Machine Learning. The AV needs to understand its 3D environment, to plan a safe path through it, and therefore needs to detect the 3D position of vehicles, pedestrians and other objects around it. Cameras – in monocular, stereoscopic and structured-light configurations and LIDARs will be used for this task. Monocular depth estimation, semantic segmentation, 3D object detection and 6-DoF pose estimation are some of the tasks that will be under the purview of this position.

You will have a strong grasp of computer science fundamentals, software engineering skills and Machine Learning knowledge. You will have a solid background in Computer Vision and be comfortable with the latest literature in CNNs, loss-functions and development frameworks like Tensor-flow, Keras and Pytorch. You will also well-versed in software engineering and tool-chains used for integrating these ML algorithms into a production pipeline. In addition to Python for ML, you should be proficient with C++, that will be used for the overarching Self-Driving Software framework (SDS). You should understand modern build systems, have familiarity with version control and have used agile programming practice in a professional setting. Finally, you should have some experience in deploying CV/ML solutions in real-world applications.

Your responsibilities will include the following:

  • Design, implement, train and test ML algorithms for camera-based depth estimation, semantic segmentation, 3D object detection, classification and 6 DoF object pose-estimation.

  • Design, implement, train and test ML algorithms for LIDAR based free space detection and 3D object detection.

  • Develop, implement and utilize specific metrics to quantify the performance of object detection and classification algorithms.

  • Develop and implement Multi-Target Tracking and Data Association algorithms using EKFs and Particle Filters.

  • Design, implement, test and maintain production-level software solutions in C++ on an embedded platform

The minimum requirements we seek:

  • Bachelors Degree in Robotics, Electrical Engineering, or Computer Science

  • 3 + years work experience building ML algorithms. (co-op/internship/university lab work in conjunction with industry partner acceptable)

  • 1 + years experience developing high-quality C/C++ code for a commercial CV/ML application. (co-op/internship/university lab work in conjunction with industry partner acceptable)

Our preferred qualifications:

  • Masters Degree in Robotics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, or similar field

  • Experience with developing custom software within a large codebase, including proficiency with software version control systems (e.g., git or svn), code reviews, and style guidelines.

  • Experience with Linux development using tools for code debugging and profiling.

  • Experience with multiple sensor systems that utilize a combination of LIDAR and cameras.

  • Experience with neural network development in at least two of the following areas: monocular depth estimation, semantic segmentation and 3D object detection/classification using an ML framework like Tensor Flow / Keras / Pytorch.

  • Experience with neural network development in LIDAR-based 3D object detection using an ML framework like Tensor Flow / Keras / Pytorch.

  • Experience with 3D geometry: particularly multi-camera projective geometry, the fundamental matrix and its solutions.

  • Experience with intrinsic and extrinsic camera calibration.

  • Strong foundation in linear algebra, vector analysis, and probability/statistics.

  • Working knowledge of an inter-process communication method (such as ROS, DDS, ZeroMQ, etc).

  • Proficiency in multiple operating systems such as Windows, UNIX, Linux, etc.

  • Demonstrated ability to generate scientific reports and presentations.

  • Experience with system requirements, testing, validation, and Agile software development.

What you’ll receive in return:

As part of the Ford family, you’ll enjoy excellent compensation and a comprehensive benefits package that includes generous PTO, retirement, savings and stock investment plans, incentive compensation and much more. You’ll also experience exciting opportunities for professional and personal growth and recognition.

If you have what it takes to help us redefine the future of mobility, we’d love to have you join us.

Candidates for positions with Ford Motor Company must be legally authorized to work in the United States on a permanent basis. Verification of employment eligibility will be required at the time of hire. Visa sponsorship is available for this position.

By choice, we are an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to a culturally diverse workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status or protected veteran status.

For information on Ford's salary and benefits, please visit:


Auto req ID:



Ford Motor Company


Autonomous Vehicles

Skill Team:

Autonomous Vehicles (AV)


Autonomous Vehicles




Palo Alto