Reasons to Apply to Nuro to Advance Your Career
1. You’ll have excellent opportunities for growth, as Nuro is hiring rapidly.
Nuro is hiring rapidly. Nuro has more things to be tackled than they have people to tackle them.
This creates opportunities for new hires.
2. Nuro is an excellent team in a great market. And the team is still pretty small.
Nuro is one of the few startups in the autonomy space with a strong path to market.
Co-founder Jiajun was “one of the founding team members of the Google self-driving car project.” Co-founder Dave “built and then led the computer vision, machine learning, behavior prediction, and scene understanding teams for Google’s self-driving car project.”
Greylock Partners led a $92 million round into Nuro, announced in Jan 2018. Greylock partner Simon Rothman joined the board of Nuro - Simon has formerly been on the board of companies including Tesla. Greylock has formerly invested in Airbnb (co-lead series A investor), LinkedIn (lead series B investor) and Facebook (lead series B investor).
Jiajun was one of the first engineers of Google’s Self Driving program and spent 8 years there. He designed and developed the first two versions of their perception system which is one of the most complicated and important parts of the autonomy software stack. In addition to leading their perception team, he also helped build and lead their simulation efforts.
Dave is a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University who has been working in robotics and machine learning for almost 20 years. He led the planning group for CMU’s team that won the DARPA Urban Challenge back in 2007 and has made significant theoretical and practical contributions to the field of robotics. In fact, one of the algorithms he developed during his PhD is used for long range autonomy on NASA’s Mars Rovers. He spent over 5 years at Google as the machine learning and computer vision lead for the self driving program.
If you had to create the perfect autonomous vehicle founders in a lab, you would produce Jiajun and Dave. 😉
As of November 2018, the software engineering team is about 60 people. The hardware team is about 20 people.
3. The work is more motivating because the product is actively deployed.
Working on something that is actively being used is substantially more motivating. Nuro has this.
Nuro is running a grocery delivery service with their self-driving vehicles in Arizona. They partnered with Kroger, the largest grocer in America.
Plus - from a business perspective it is very beneficial to have a product that can get to market earlier than autonomous taxis. Additionally, being able to make deals with large grocery chains is great for adoption compared to the grinding away for marketshare that taxi service companies must do.
4. You’ll develop valuable skills.
Engineering for delivery and on-demand logistics is likely to remain a strong growth area. Autonomy and robotics experience is also especially valuable, as the level of automation continues to increase.
5. What they make
Nuro makes a “fully autonomous, on-road vehicle designed to transport goods — quickly, safely, and affordably.”
Note that the vehicle is on-road – not on-sidewalk!
“Through autonomous technology and an application-specific vehicle, Nuro is building an entirely new service and customer experience. Customers can have errands run for them. For nearly no cost any product can be delivered to anyone anywhere locally.”
“Nuro will finally enable the promise of local commerce (and with it, autonomy).”
6. When successful, Nuro will be an extremely impactful company
“Autonomy will increase consumer convenience. Over 3 trillion miles are driven every year in the US alone. Most of those miles aren’t enjoyable, but necessary. Commutes. Trips to the grocery store. Drug store. Restaurants. Now, imagine a Nuro vehicle bringing stuff to your house so you don’t have to invest the time and drive the unwanted miles.”
“Also, more than 1.2 million people around the world die every year from car accidents and another 2.4 million are injured or disabled. That places vehicular deaths as the 9th leading cause of death and nearly all of these auto-related deaths are avoidable. NHTSA estimates 93% of accidents are caused by human errors — mainly from impairment or distraction. Robots aren’t susceptible to either of these errors, bringing the promise of a future with far fewer vehicle fatalities.”
Autonomous delivery could lower the cost of last-mile delivery by 20x. It can be hard to predict which breakthroughs will be most important. So a general guideline is that significant enabling changes will yield impactful results. This is a significant enabling change.
7. Nuro’s hiring bar is extremely high
We talked with employees at Nuro. They tended to have offers from most other names in the autonomy space – but they chose Nuro.
8. How to know if you might be a fit
Robotics and infrastructure teams:
- People comfortable in a C++ lifestyle, where everything is very safety focused, with great attention to detail
- People with mathematical, spatial and/or robotics interests
- More traditional front/back-end needs
- People intersted in programming in Go (the end-user teams use C++, Go and a little Python)
- If you want to do product engineering or are tangentially interested in robotics or on-demand logistics
- People who are independent - “come in with some guidance, but not lots of handholding, and start making contributions”
No points are taken for asking questions. There’s an “underlying assumption that if you’re here you’re excellent. This comes with the understanding that everyone continues to learn.”
Responsibility is high at Nuro. This is excellent for learning.
This requires both the confidence to ask questions, as well as the independence to know what questions to ask and to be able to work without handholding.
9. Next step
Explore roles at Nuro.
Applying for a job has an asymmetric return – limited downside, with potentially massive upside.
We strongly suggest you err on the side of applying.