Motional is looking for a Lead User Researcher to define the needs, context, and constraints of remote vehicle assistants (RVAs) who guide and control our autonomous vehicles in specific scenarios (e.g. when the AV encounters an unfamiliar scenario that it is not designed to support).

You'll apply a user-centered approach to give our product team a deep understanding of how these users operate and what they need to be successful. You will explore topics including, but not limited to: what is the optimal workflow for an RVA intervention, what information do agents need to successfully intervene, and how do RVA interventions impact the passenger experience.

You will also lead the planning and facilitation of concept and usability testing, in a fast-paced agile environment. The latter will involve a mix of simulation, track, and on-road testing, primarily at our office in Las Vegas.

This position may require 25-35% travel per year (primarily to Las Vegas and Boston). 

We are open to hiring remotely in the United States. Candidate will be working with geographically distributed colleagues (San Francisco, Singapore, Boston), and will largely align their schedule with PST hours. 

Please submit your resume, and at least 2 projects that best represent your capabilities, skills and interests.

The Motional Las Vegas office is located less than 10 miles from the Las Vegas strip at 730 E Pilot Road, the Las Vegas office is home to one of the largest fleets of self-driving vehicles. The city’s grid system of roads and being one of America’s “smart cities” allows for extensive research and development testing.

What You'll Do

  • Build and foster a team culture of empathy and understanding of user needs and desires, while balancing business decisions and decisiveness
  • Lead user research activities–both generative and evaluative–to help define the remote vehicle assistance strategy, roadmap, and HMI
  • 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 buy in and ensure recommendations acted upon
  • Create, and efficiently execute on, 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 arise with respect to goals, timelines, and scope
  • Identify and resolve misalignments among stakeholders
  • 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, HCI, HRI, or another human-focused research field, or equivalent work experience
  • 8+ years of experience conducting research for technology products and/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
  • Adept at identifying and prioritizing research questions, and generating research roadmaps
  • Experience planning for and conducting qualitative and quantitative user research studies, and deftly articulating when and how to apply certain methods
  • Experience articulating value and impact of user research, both study-specific and more generally
  • Ability to clearly communicate your findings, and justify recommendations to different levels within an organization, including c-level executives
  • Ability to build consensus
  • Experience working within a cross-functional product team alongside product managers, designers, engineers, technical program managers, etc. in a fast-paced agile environment (i.e. software company, startup, etc.)
  • Strong understanding of user-centered design methodologies, interaction design, user experience design, and hardware/software engineering product development processes
  • Ability to be flexible and inventive, devising and applying non-traditional approaches to research, given our product space

Bonus Points

  • Industry experience working in Human-Robot interaction, autonomous vehicles, or similar spaces
  • Experience with planning or executing human factors research, quantitative/behavioral data collection, or exploratory data analysis

Why You Should Join Us

This role offers the opportunity to work on extremely challenging problems that haven’t been solved at scale. 

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.