Senior Software Engineer - Core-Simulator: Simulation Vehicles

Aurora Innovation (View all Jobs)

Mountain View, California

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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 to make transportation safer, increasingly accessible, and more reliable and efficient than ever before. The Aurora Driver is a self-driving system designed to operate multiple vehicle types, from freight-hauling semi-trucks to ride-hailing passenger vehicles, and underpins Aurora Horizon and Aurora Connect, its driver-as-a-service products for trucking and ride-hailing. Aurora is working with industry leaders across the transportation ecosystem, including Toyota, FedEx, Volvo Trucks, PACCAR, Uber, Uber Freight, U.S. Xpress, Werner, Covenant, Schneider, and Ryder. For Aurora’s latest news, visit and @aurora_inno on Twitter.

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 a Senior Software Engineer - Core-Simulator: Simulation Vehicles.

The team is responsible for the primary simulation engine and offline testing framework. They build models for subsystems of the autonomy stack, models for the physical world, and tooling to generate complex scenarios. They build the technology for producing realistic virtual interactions at scale, modeling the physics and behaviors of agents in the world, and gaining and presenting insights about our rich simulation data.The team's goal is to enable rapid development and validation of the autonomy stack through comprehensive offline analysis.

In this role, you will

  • Improve the simulation fidelity of Aurora vehicle platforms by using techniques from system identification.
  • Contribute to the V&V of Aurora vehicle platforms in simulation by leveraging statistical estimation theory and model validation methods.
  • Improve vehicle dynamics and actuator models with application to off-nominal and failure-mode conditions.
  • Design experiments (nominal and off-nominal) to collect sufficient data to improve model accuracy and parameter robustness.
  • Contribute to the development of a scalable and robust vehicle simulation framework including large-scale simulation evaluation in order to assess performance across a wide range of environmental conditions including wind disturbances.
  • Engage with numerous teams across the org including safety, controls, motion planning and external partners.
  • Example projects that a candidate may contribute to include:
    • Develop statistical model validation metrics to support V&V including: 
      • Goodness of fit
      • Parameter confidence intervals
    • Model nonlinear actuation phenomena including vehicle brake hysteresis, backlash, amplitude and rate saturation, dead zones, etc. 
    • Devise novel parameter estimation methods
    • Improve computational performance of the vehicle simulation framework
    • Contribute to the data collection effort including the design of optimal excitation maneuvers, data pre-processing, filtering, and time and frequency domain analysis.
    • Investigate and troubleshoot discrepancies that are found between on-road and simulation data
    • Contributing to modeling real world errors in, and testing closed-loop interactions between, perception, planning, localization, mapping, and control subsystems in simulation. 

Required Qualifications

  • Must have strong experience with estimation theory including: 
    • Least squares, Maximum Likelihood methods, and Kalman Filtering.
    • Coefficient of determination, parameter confidence intervals, Hypothesis testing.
  • Must have significant experience with system identification including strong understanding of foundational concepts such as
    • Excitation
    • Data collinearity
    • Optimal input design
    • Experimental/Data Collection pipelines
    • Modeling of disturbances, parametric uncertainty, and unmodeled dynamics
    • Real-time parameter estimation approaches
  • Must have significant experience in physics-based modeling spanning a variety of applications.
  • Must have experience in modeling and simulation of wind.  Experience sought includes:  ground vehicles, aircraft, rotorcraft, or wind energy systems.
  • Must have experience with signal processing techniques
  • Must have a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering, robotics, aeronautics, mathematics, computer science, or similar technical fields of study, or equivalent practical experience
  • 5+ years of industry experience programming C++ software or equivalent
  • 15+ years of experience in physics-based modeling, simulation, robotics, motion planning, controls, or equivalent.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Strong math background including: Lie groups (modern geometry) and stochastic processes
  • Exposure to simulation fidelity requirements and standards
  • Experience with SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) and control (linear and nonlinear methods)
  • Experience with automotive dynamics
  • 5-10+ years of industry experience designing and programming C++ software
  • Excellent communication and people engagement skills
  • Experience with classical machine learning (ML) algorithms (backpropagation neural networks, support vector machines, ridge regression, etc)

The base salary range for this position is $168,000-$252,000 per year.  Aurora’s pay ranges are determined by role, level, and location. Within the range, the successful candidate’s starting base pay will be determined based on factors including job-related skills, experience, qualifications, relevant education or training, and market conditions. These ranges may be modified in the future. The successful candidate will also be eligible for an annual bonus, equity compensation, and benefits.



Working at Aurora

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

We have offices in several locations across the United States, where we encourage team and cross-functional collaboration. Aurora offers competitive medical, dental, and vision benefits, and additional healthcare support including medical transportation reimbursement, fertility, adoption, and surrogacy benefits. We empower our employees and their families with options to further their unique physical, mental, and financial well-being.

Our Learning and Development offerings include Aurora Academy, where our people learn, develop, and practice the essential skills that drive Aurora’s mission, continually up-leveling our team along the way. Our Careers page provides insight into career opportunities at Aurora, and you can find all the latest news on our Blog. 

Safety is central to everything we do. Every employee at Aurora has a role in contributing to safety, every step of the way. We seek candidates who take active responsibility, can contribute to building an atmosphere of trust, and invest in the organization's long-term success by working safely — no matter what.

We believe that self-driving technology has broad benefits – including increased access to transportation. To realize those benefits, we need a workforce with diverse experiences, insights, and perspectives — a workforce that reflects the communities our technology will serve.

Aurora is committed to providing access to anyone who seeks information from our website. We invite anyone using assistive technologies, such as a screen reader or Braille reader, to email us at  if they experience difficulty using our website. Please describe the accessibility problem and include a URL (if available).

Aurora considers candidates without regard to their 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. Aurora considers qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state and local law. We are also committed to providing reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application procedures. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at

For California applicants, information collected and processed as part of your application and any job applications you choose to submit is subject to Aurora’s California Employment Privacy Policy.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

At Aurora, every employee is empowered to take an active role in building an inclusive, collaborative, and unified culture that leverages our diverse strengths, perspectives, and backgrounds. 

Transforming how the world moves people and goods involves seeking to understand backgrounds, insights, and lived experiences that differ from our own. One way we accomplish that is with our 15 employee-led Aurora Unified Groups, which support diverse voices and drive inclusive collaboration. We believe that teamwork, belonging, and trust motivate and support our employees to do their best work. As our team grows, we strive to attract and retain exceptional talent that adds new perspectives and experiences and continues to drive innovation. Learn more on our Culture Page.

We are committed to helping qualified military community members leverage their talents in service of our mission. To understand how your military experience aligns with career opportunities at Aurora, review your military job classification at and consider applying for open positions corresponding to your identified skills and experiences!

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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