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Senior Staff Machine Learning Engineer, AI Foundations



Software Engineering, Data Science
United States · Remote
Posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2024

We're Cruise, a self-driving service designed for the cities we love.

We’re building the world’s most advanced self-driving vehicles to safely connect people to the places, things, and experiences they care about. We believe self-driving vehicles will help save lives, reshape cities, give back time in transit, and restore freedom of movement for many.

In our cars, you’re free to be yourself. It’s the same here at Cruise. We’re creating a culture that values the experiences and contributions of all of the unique individuals who collectively make up Cruise, so that every employee can do their best work.

Cruise is committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment, both in our workplace and in our products. If you are looking to play a part in making a positive impact in the world by advancing the revolutionary work of self-driving cars, come join us. Even if you might not meet every requirement, we strongly encourage you to apply. You might just be the right candidate for us.

At Cruise, the AI Foundations organization (AIF) builds the essential AI infrastructure used by every ML engineer at Cruise. AIF’s goal is to support the AI lifecycle through the ML data platform, the ML training platform as well as deploying large complex ML models to the on-vehicle hardware under tight real-time constraints. AIF’s mission is to provide the highest levels of reliability, the fastest developer velocity at the lowest cost footprint through these platforms and services.

Cruise is building large foundational models that are customized to solve the autonomous driving challenges. This naturally implies that the ML systems and training infrastructure must scale to the requirements of these large models. Deploying these large models to edge (on-vehicle) hardware is another critical challenge. In this role, as a Senior Staff engineer on this team, you will be leading the vision/strategy as well as tech-leading the execution to solve these hard problems. Cruise is a highly collaborative and dynamic work environment. In this role, as an uber TL, you will be responsible for collaboratively working with partners on the ML teams (Autonomy) to inspire a technical strategy / vision and drive execution through a cross-functional team.


  • Be a strategic thought leader for AI Foundations as a whole
  • Lead strategic execution around ML systems and training infrastructure and deploying large models
  • Be as a technical leader across the broader Cruise AI and Engineering organizations to deliver production systems and mentor Engineers
  • Define execution processes that strive for streamlined engineering development with robust quality and excellence
  • Contribute broadly on the needs and strategy from data, to training, to deployment
  • Utilize your deep understanding of data characteristics, model architectures, optimization techniques, or other ML domain-specific challenges to perform critical analysis of modeling results
  • Propose ways to improve the quality of the data for the model training and evaluation, automate data collection for reproducibility.
  • Closely follow industry and academic developments in the SOTA for the AI life-cycle and ML Systems domain’s and adopt technology that is the best fit for Cruise’s needs.
  • Own technical projects from start to finish, contribute to the team’s product roadmap, and be responsible for major technical decisions and tradeoffs. Effectively participate in team’s planning, code reviews and design discussions
  • Consider the effects of projects across multiple teams and proactively manage risks/conflicts. Work together with partner teams and orgs to achieve cross-departmental goals and satisfy broad requirements
  • Conduct technical interviews with well-calibrated standards and play an essential role in recruiting activities. Effectively onboard and mentor junior engineers and/or interns


  • 5+ years working on ML systems for training and deploying complex ML models by employing SOTA techniques in the area of distributed training and deployment
  • Experience working on the scaling challenges associated with building LLMs and/or other large foundational models.
  • Passionate about self-driving technology and its potential impact on the world
  • Attention to detail and a passion for truth
  • A track record of efficiently solving complex problems collaboratively on larger teams
  • Startup mentality - openness to dealing with unknown unknowns and wearing many hats
  • Strong expertise in writing production quality code and setting standards for code quality across engineering teams
  • Experience in driving technical strategy and vision for engineering teams and organizations
  • Leadership experience for planning and execution of cross-functional initiatives and projects
  • In-depth understanding of software development lifecycle (SDLC) and best practices - CI/CD, coding, debugging, optimization, testing, integration and deployment
  • PhD in CS/CE/EE, or equivalent, in industry experience

Bonus points!

  • Worked on distilling large foundational models to production on edge devices
  • Strong experience in working with GPUs and GPU based datacenters
  • Relevant publications

The salary range for this position is $217,600 - $320,000. Compensation will vary depending on location, job-related knowledge, skills, and experience. You may also be offered a bonus, long-term incentives, and benefits. These ranges are subject to change.

Why Cruise?

Our benefits are here to support the whole you:

  • Competitive salary and benefits
  • Medical / dental / vision, Life and AD&D
  • Subsidized mental health benefits
  • Paid time off and holidays
  • Paid parental, medical, family care, and military leave of absence
  • 401(k) Cruise matching program
  • Fertility benefits
  • Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
  • Flexible Spending Account & Health Saving Account
  • Perks Wallet program for benefits/perks
  • Pre-tax Commuter benefit plan for local employees
  • CruiseFlex, our location-flexible work policy. (Learn more about CruiseFlex).

We’re Integrated

  • Through our partnerships with General Motors and Honda, we are the only self-driving company with fully integrated manufacturing at scale.

We’re Funded

  • GM, Honda, Microsoft, T. Rowe Price, and Walmart have invested billions in Cruise. Their backing for our technology demonstrates their confidence in our progress, team, and vision and makes us one of the leading autonomous vehicle organizations in the industry. Our deep resources greatly accelerate our operating speed.

Cruise LLC is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a supportive and inclusive workplace where contributions are valued and celebrated, and our employees thrive by being themselves and are inspired to do the best work of their lives. We seek applicants of all backgrounds and identities, across race, color, caste, ethnicity, national origin or ancestry, age, citizenship, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy or parental status, or disability. Applicants will not be discriminated against based on these or other protected categories or social identities. Cruise will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records, in accordance with applicable laws.

Cruise is committed to the full inclusion of all applicants. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process please let our recruiting team know or email HR@getcruise.com.

We proactively work to design hiring processes that promote equity and inclusion while mitigating bias. To help us track the effectiveness and inclusivity of our recruiting efforts, please consider answering the following demographic questions. Answering these questions is entirely voluntary. Your answers to these questions will not be shared with the hiring decision makers and will not impact the hiring decision in any way. Instead, Cruise will use this information not only to comply with any government reporting obligations but also to track our progress toward meeting our diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging objectives.

Candidates applying for roles that operate and remotely operate the AV: Licensed to drive a motor vehicle in the U.S. for the three years immediately preceding your application, currently holding an active in-state regular driver’s license or equivalent, and no more than one point on driving record. A successful completion of a background check, drug screen and DMV Motor Vehicle Record check is also required.

Note to Recruitment Agencies: Cruise does not accept unsolicited agency resumes. Furthermore, Cruise does not pay placement fees for candidates submitted by any agency other than its approved partners.