Motional is looking for a Lead User Researcher to help define our operational design domain and how our autonomous vehicles should behave in various scenarios. 

You’ll apply a user-centered approach to give our product team a deep understanding of how, and in which situations, our vehicles should operate. You will explore topics including, but not limited to, vehicle behaviors (e.g. robotaxi pick up and drop off), wayfinding, personal safety, accessibility, and equitable design. You will also lead the planning and facilitation of user testing, in a fast paced agile environment.

Please submit your resume, and at least 2 projects that best represent your capabilities, skills and interests.  This position may require 20-45% travel per year.  We are open hiring remotely in the United States.

What You'll Do

  • Foster a team culture of empathy and understanding of user needs and desires, while balancing business decisions and decisiveness
  • Lead research activities–both generative and evaluative–to define our operational design domain, including the handling of passenger pick ups and drop offs (e.g. How might passengers interact with an AV before they enter the vehicle? After they exit the vehicle?)
  • Employ a wide range of research tools and techniques (e.g. ethnography, video diaries, surveys, usability testing)
  • Conduct secondary research and literature reviews
  • Deliver actionable research findings and recommendations; partner closely with designers, engineers, and product managers to gain clear buy in
  • Establish and follow clear research roadmaps
  • Contribute to the growth of our User Research team and capability over time
  • Coach more junior researchers as our team grows and expands
  • Identify and problem solve when issues with progress arise, shifting timelines and approach to meet new demands as needed
  • Travel frequently as needed to various operational sites (Las Vegas, LA, etc.), to conduct on-the-ground user research (up to 25% travel)
  • Define how people interact with the future of autonomous vehicles!

What We're Looking For

  • Passionate about solving hard problems most haven’t faced before
  • Master’s degree in Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Human Factors, or another human-focused research field
  • 8+ years of experience in consumer-focused products or services, ideally with a physical component
  • Familiarity and interest in human-robot interaction, transportation, and autonomous vehicles
  • A keen desire to understand how humans think and act. You enjoy meeting, interviewing, and observing users in their own environments
  • Experience planning for and conducting qualitative and quantitative user research studies, and the knowledge of when and how to apply certain methods
  • Ability to clearly communicate your findings, and justify recommendations to different levels within an organization, including c-level executives
  • Experience working within a cross functional product team alongside product managers, designers, engineers etc. in a fast-paced agile environment (i.e. software company, startup, etc.)
  • Good understanding of user-centered design methodologies, interaction design, user experience design, and hardware/software engineering processes
  • The ability to be flexible and inventive, using non-traditional approaches to research and user testing, given our product space

Bonus Points

Industry experience working in Human-Robot interaction, autonomous vehicles, or similar spaces

Why You Should Join Us

This role offers the opportunity to work on extremely challenging problems that haven’t been solved at scale. We’re looking for someone excited to tackle problems such as – what are all of the conditions, use cases, and scenarios our AVs will encounter? How do we ensure our AV’s behaviors are understood by passengers, pedestrians, and fellow drivers? How do we make our pick up and drop off experience accessible? Our team is driven, not afraid, to solve problems like this.

Motional’s Product Team, where this role sits, is at the forefront of setting the vision for our products – from the experience of riding in an autonomous vehicle, to transporting valuable goods between different users, to how to manage a fleet, and more. We lead with a user-focused mindset, and as a Lead User Researcher, you’ll have a direct impact in shaping the strategic direction of our company, and the future of mobility as a whole.

Lastly, while autonomous vehicles have been around for years, we are finally bringing this technology to market at scale. With over 100,000 public autonomous rides, and partnerships with major ride hailing and delivery players, a role at Motional offers the chance to drive the next revolution in mobility.

Additional Details:

Because travel is an essential function of the job, Motional  currently requires those performing this role to be fully vaccinated. Anyone hired into this role should be vaccinated by their start date. Motional is an equal opportunity employer, and will provide reasonable accommodation to those unable to be vaccinated where it is not an undue hardship to the Company to do so as provided under federal, state, and local law.

Motional is a driverless technology company making self-driving vehicles a safe, reliable, and accessible reality.

The Motional team is made up of engineers, researchers, innovators, dreamers and doers, who together are creating a first-of-its-kind technology with the potential to transform the way we move. We’re behind some of the industry's largest leaps forward, including the first fully-autonomous cross-country drive in the U.S, the launch of the world's first robotaxi pilot, and operation of the world's most-established public robotaxi fleet.

As a leader in an emerging industry that has the promise of creating safer, more reliable and accessible transportation for all, it’s imperative we have a diverse workforce, create an inclusive culture, and understand the communities we operate in around the world. 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is fundamental to Motional’s success. That’s why we’ve established a team to ensure DEI is at the forefront of the candidate and employee experience, beginning with the hiring process and continuing throughout your career. We also partner with organizations like the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and the Society of Women Engineers to ensure our DEI work is informed by the latest thinking and approaches.

Strategically formed by Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv, Motional is fundamentally changing how people move through their lives. Headquartered in Boston, Motional has operations in the U.S and Asia. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.


Motional AD Inc. is an EOE. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. To comply with Federal Law, we participate in E-Verify. All newly-hired employees are queried through this electronic system established by the DHS and the SSA to verify their identity and employment eligibility.