Director of Perception



Foster City, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2024
We’re reinventing personal transportation—making the future safer, cleaner, and more enjoyable. We’ve created our vehicle specifically for dense, complicated urban environments. Zoox is the only driving vehicle on the market with bidirectional driving capabilities and four-wheel steering, allowing us to maneuver through compact spaces and change directions without the need to reverse. The future is for riders!
Our growing software engineering leadership team is searching for a Director of Perception, reporting directly to our Vice President of Autonomy Software. Our perception stack is responsible for transforming Zoox’s world-class sensor data into the classification and understanding of the complex and dynamic environment in our cities. We create novel architectures that combine the latest academic results with many in-house innovations in creative ways. Our algorithms are relentlessly optimized and tuned to run efficiently and effectively on a wide variety of real-life data as well as in simulation.
You will be responsible for leading our high-impact Perception team with their technical roadmap and milestone goals. You will be closely collaborating with executives, AI leaders, simulation, and our systems design and mission assurance teams to deliver an exceptional perception system encompassing modalities such as vision, lidar, radar and long-wave IR across pipelines such as segmentation, detection, classification, tracking, and high-level scene understanding. You will lead a diverse, experienced team with a rapidly growing scope and responsibility while also working on some of the most complex problems in artificial intelligence, perception, and sensor fusion.


  • Build and lead a group of managers and engineers, and be responsible for the team’s strategy, productivity, and impact within the company.
  • Set the vision for, grow, and lead a team of talented software engineers in the overall planning, execution, and success of complex technical projects, while providing the team with technical leadership.
  • Collaborate with engineers and leaders across a variety of teams to brainstorm and accelerate the development of perception capabilities.
  • Partner with the Advanced Hardware Engineering leaders on sensor selection and architecture as well as compute architecture. Lead the design and implementation of the Perception roadmap.
  • Provide clear summaries, progress, and recommendations to our executive leadership team.
  • Establishing best practices and statistical rigor around data-driven decision-making.
  • Stay on top of industry and academic trends in AI and perception, making sure Zoox remains at the cutting edge of both algorithms and their implementation at scale.


  • Strong understanding of Perception systems
  • 5+ years of leading large relevant projects from inception to delivery
  • 8+ years of extensive leadership experience, leading teams of 50+
  • 10+ years of experience in computer vision, machine learning and related technologies
  • Strong leadership skills suitable for recruiting, leading, growing, and managing technical team members in solving a challenging problem, and building a critical component of a real-time system
  • Recent experience in implementing vision & perception algorithms
  • Expertise in implementing autonomy solutions and deploying real-world systems
  • Strong fundamentals in geometric and 3D perception algorithms
  • Sound understanding of modern neural network architectures and implementations for computer vision and other modalities
  • Experience with sensor fusion and uncertainty modeling across multiple modalities
  • Sufficient understanding of computer architecture to help guide decision-making and implementation (e.g. CPU, GPU, TPUs)
  • Strong mathematical and statistical foundation
  • Strong presentation and communication skills
  • BS, MS or PhD in Robotics, Computer Science or related fields.

Bonus Qualifications

  • Familiarity with perception of autonomous vehicles or similar robots
  • Hands-on experience having deployed real products or platforms into the real world, and intimately understanding the challenges of working with complex systems
  • Experience with mapping and localization
  • Involvement in validation or evaluation of risk and/or safety-critical systems
  • Knowledge of GPU and/or TPU programming (CUDA, TensorRT, etc.)
  • Fluency in C++
There are three major components to compensation for this position: salary, Amazon Restricted Stock Units (RSUs), and Zoox Stock Appreciation Rights. The salary will range from $296,000-$451,000. A sign-on bonus may be part of a compensation package. Compensation will vary based on geographic location, job-related knowledge, skills, and experience.
Zoox also offers a comprehensive package of benefits including paid time off (e.g. sick leave, vacation, bereavement), unpaid time off, Zoox Stock Appreciation Rights, Amazon RSUs, health insurance, long-term care insurance, long-term and short-term disability insurance, and life insurance.