Autonomy Systems and Safety Engineer - Controls and Dynamics

Aurora Innovation (View all Jobs)

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Interview Process

1. Simplified real-world coding task on 2. Time-boxed take-home assignment 3. Face-to-face meeting with teammates.

Programming Languages Mentioned


Who We Are

Aurora (Nasdaq: AUR) is delivering the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly. Founded in 2017 by experts in the self-driving industry, Aurora is revolutionizing transportation – making it safer, increasingly accessible, and more reliable and efficient than ever before. Its flagship product, the Aurora Driver, is a platform that brings together software, hardware, and data services, to autonomously operate passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles, and heavy-duty trucks. Aurora is partnered with industry leaders across the transportation ecosystem including Toyota, Volvo, PACCAR, Uber, Uber Freight, FedEx, and U.S. Xpress. Aurora tests its vehicles in the Bay Area, Pittsburgh, and Texas and has offices in those areas as well as in Bozeman, MT; Seattle, WA; Louisville, CO; and Detroit, MI. To learn more, visit

Aurora hires talented people with diverse backgrounds who are ready to help build a transportation ecosystem that will make our roads safer, get crucial goods where they need to go, and make mobility more efficient and accessible for all.

We’re searching for an System Safety Engineer, Controls and Dynamics to lay the foundation in making data-informed decisions that impact the safety of  Autonomous Vehicle behaviors, verification and validation of Aurora's self-driving technology and business growth.  This role is within the Safety Engineering group, which is responsible for the engineering work to satisfy the safety case for Aurora Self Driving Technology - an unsolved problem for the industry and one of the most difficult challenges in the history of system safety engineering. Our team is responsible for understanding the functionality of the full stack and helping to define operational parameters important to maintain safe driving conditions.

In this role, you will 

Design and perform complex system analysis from first principles to ensure proper understanding of system functionality, including rapid prototyping and evaluation via simulation.  Derive from analysis functional and technical requirements for all behavioral capabilities needed to operate a self-driving vehicle.  Work with multi-disciplinary teams to perform analysis at all levels of system product to include: system controls and dynamics, motion planning, perception, use-case definition, software design and architecture, test, verification and validation.

Work with cross-functional teams to play a critical role in complex system understanding, simulation, and to define system constraints. This position requires excellent written and oral communication proficiency in conjunction with organization skills necessary to maintain focus and achieve consensus within diverse multi-disciplined teams. The successful candidate will be a self-starter and able to work independently, learn, tailor and execute processes, and perform in a collaborative environment.

More specifically, your responsibilities in the role are highlighted as: 

  • Perform risk-driven hazard identification and analysis  for prevention and control measures in order to satisfy the safety goals;
  • Develop first-principle analytic models to characterize and predict the complex, non-linear physics and dynamic interactions in self-driving;
  • Analyze multi-agent interactions between road users and the self-driving vehicle to ensure safe system response;
  • Develop simulation strategy to verify these models for safe behavior;
  • Rapid prototype controls and dynamics models for self-driving vehicles and develop simulation approach to evaluate the models;
  • Derive performance boundary and timing constraints for self-driving vehicles and the constituent subsystem;
  • Document the approaches and analyses, develop safety requirements from the analyses, working with stakeholders;
  • Collaborate with systems, hardware, and software subject-matter-experts to analyze controls and dynamics impact of safety concepts and mechanisms to achieve safety goals.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's Degree, Master of Science or PhD in Engineering or related discipline
  • Minimum 5+ years of experience working in systems engineering, control engineering, aerospace engineering, vehicle dynamics or related field
  • Ability to demonstrate a proven track record of successfully working with large, complex teams in a results-driven environment
  • Ability to model complex systems by using kinematics and multi-body dynamics
  • Ability to derive technical engineering requirements from analytical and data models
  • Comfortable working with ambiguity and evolving priorities
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience with complex autonomous systems
  • Working knowledge of Python and physical modeling and simulation tool (e.g., MATLAB)
  • Experience with Machine Learning
  • Experience leading a technical area
  • Working knowledge of ISO 26262 or IEC 61508




Working at Aurora

At Aurora, we bring together people with extraordinary talent and experience united by the strength of our values. We operate with integrity, set outrageous goals, and continue to build a culture where we win together—all without any jerks.

We have offices in 8+ locations across the United States. We offer a competitive benefits package to qualifying employees. Our Career Page includes everything you need to know about working at Aurora.

At the core of everything we do is our commitment to safety. Building best-in-class self-driving technology will take time, and we believe that each employee at Aurora has a role in contributing to safety, every step of the way. Aurora expects commitment to our safety policies from every employee, and seeks candidates who take an active responsibility, can contribute to building an atmosphere of trust, and invest in the organization’s long-term success by prioritizing working safely, no matter what.

We believe that self-driving technology has broad benefits – including an increase in safety and access to transportation – and to achieve those benefits, we want and need a workforce with diverse experiences, insights, and perspectives; said another way, a workforce that reflects the communities and people our technology will benefit. You can find all the latest news on our Blog

Individuals seeking employment at Aurora are considered without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy status, parent or caregiver status, ancestry, political affiliation, veteran and/or military status, physical or mental disability, or any other status protected by federal or state law. 

Please mention No Whiteboard if you apply!
I'm a one-man team looking to improve tech interviews, and could use any support! 😄

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