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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:

Ford Motor Company is committed to expanding our core business from auto manufacturer to, the much broader, mobility solutions company. 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-moving, 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).

The “Autonomous Vehicle Software Engineer - Perception” 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 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.

Ideal candidates will have a strong grasp of computer science fundamentals, software engineering skills and Machine Learning knowledge. They should 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. They will also well-versed in software engineering best practice and tool-chains used for integrating these ML algorithms into a production pipeline. In addition to Python for ML, they should be proficient with C++, that will be used for the overarching Self-Driving Software framework (SDS). They should understand modern build systems, have familiarity with version control and have used agile programming practice in a professional setting. Finally, the candidate should have some experience in deploying CV/ML solutions in real-world applications.

What you’ll be able to do:

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

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

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

  • Present designs, challenges, implementation details and results during periodic reviews and technical interchange meetings

The minimum requirements we seek:

  • Master’s degree in Physics, Mathematics, Robotics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, or related scientific field OR Bachelor’s degree with five or more years equivalent work experience.

  • Two or more years’ experience developing high-quality C/C++ code for a commercial CV/ML application.

Our preferred qualifications:

  • Experience working in a team-based project from inception to demonstration across multiple disciplines, e.g., hardware design and implementation, data acquisition and analysis, mathematical modeling, algorithm development, application implementation, etc.

  • 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 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, LCM, 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.

Candidates Will Be Expected To:

  • Possess strong oral and written language skills

  • Enhance already strong time management skills

  • Present technical results for internal management and at external venues such as conferences

  • Work collaboratively with other team members and across multiple technical areas

  • Work closely and effectively with external partners – corporations, universities and automotive suppliers

  • Be self-motivated with the ability to manage multiple tasks

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.

Visa sponsorship may be 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: https://corporate.ford.com/content/dam/corporate/us/en-us/documents/careers/2021- benefits-and-comp-GSR-sal-plan-3.pdf

Auto req ID:



Ford Motor Company


Autonomous Vehicles

Skill Team:

Autonomous Vehicles (AV)


Autonomous Vehicles




Palo Alto