Core Members will be placed in Groups based on their skills, experience, and interests. At this time all applications are being accepted on a rolling basis.

Spring 2021 - COVID-19 Information


Watonomous has fully transitioned to remote work for the Spring 2021 term. Meetings are held remotely. We will still have limited physical access to our vehicle for testing and development if required. 

Software Division 


The Software Team has invested a lot of time in Spring 2020 building a full software-in-the-loop testing system for our entire autonomous stack using CARLA and Mathworks tools. As such, remote development will be very simple.


The Perception Group is responsible for processing camera, LIDAR and radar sensor data to identify objects of interest (eg. road lines, traffic signals/signs, obstacles etc). Members will research and develop object detection and classification algorithms, experiment with existing open-source libraries, and work with other teams to integrate the Perception module into the software system. Members will gain experience working with machine learning, computer vision, point cloud data processing, system integration, ROS, OpenCV, C++, and Python.

Path Planning

The Path Planning Group is responsible for handling decision making in different situations including collision avoidance, automated emergency braking, intelligent routing, four way stops, protected intersections, parking, lane changes, speed handling, and much more. Members will be responsible for engineering low-latency real-time planning, controls, and probabilistic decision making algorithms and simulators. Path Planning members will gain experience with building performance-oriented C++ code, path planning and controls algorithms, and real-world applications of mathematical concepts such as linear algebra, calculus, differential equations, computational geometry, graphics, and controls systems.

For the current Year 4 competition cycle (Sept 2020 - July 2021) the Path Planning group is working on the following projects:

  • HD Mapping: Building and automating Lanelet2 map creation pipelines for simulation and production. 

  • Environment Modeling: Designing and implementing models of how dynamically tracked environment features interact with the a priori HD (Lanelet2) map. Will be submitting a paper on this topic to ICRA/IROS 2021 conferences.

  • Occupancy Estimation: Integrating, improving, and open sourcing an implementation of occupancy grid mapping based on the well-known log odds formulation from Probabilistic Robotics by Thrun et al.

  • Ego Localization: Prototyping a variety of ego vehicle localization schemes that do not rely on any IMU or GNSS sensors. These schemes include online point cloud matching algorithms, online feature matching to the a priori HD (Lanelet2) map, and extracting odometry signals from successive LiDAR scans.

  • Local Planning and Control: Integrating a Model Predictive Control based local planning scheme and deciding on the feasibility of lateral lane change maneuvers based on occupancy estimations.

As for W21 recruitment: A strong candidate will be hired for any project, but Ego Localization is the primary project that is looking to hire additional members for W1. 

Rowan Dempster is the Direction of Path Planning for Year 4. If you have any questions about the projects or your application, feel free to email him at r2dempst@watonomous.ca.

Infrastructure & Simulation

The Infrastructure & Simulation group is responsible for creating the tools needed to integrate and support the modules of all the other groups. Members will be working on setting up continuous integration, maintaining and improving the development and production (in-car) environments, and implementation of various visualizations and tools to support the other groups, both in their local environment and when testing in the car. Infrastructure members will gain experience working with technologies such as Docker, ROS, Python and C++.

In Winter 2021, the Infrastructure group will be working on the following projects:

  • Production Docker Environment: Building a scalable docker environment to manage the various microservices running on our autonomous vehicle, ensuring robustness and reproducibility. Extending this environment to a reusable development environment for our 50+ engineers developing remotely with CARLA and Simulink simulation.

  • Continuous Integration: Developing a robust framework for continuous integration  of our perception and path planning algorithms using Kubernetes, Docker, and Gitlab CI. CI is Critical to ensure our car is able to drive autonomously in a safe manner

  • Simulation: Creating a robust simulation environment to test our vehicle in environments we don't have access to, such as the MCity test track using CARLA, Unreal Engine, ROS, MATLAB, and Simulink.

We are looking for dedicated team members to manage these projects


Electrical Division 

Power Systems Advisor


WATonomous is looking for an experienced person in electrical engineering to assist in designing custom traffic lights, maintaining the power systems of our car, and general electrical tasks. This role is on-call/advisory where you would help the team to troubleshoot any electrical issues, perform any electrical routing and assembly for new sensors, and provide guidance about the vehicle’s power systems. 


Minimum qualifications: Experience in electrical assembly and cabling, experience in electrical safety and working with high voltage equipment, and availability to travel to Waterloo on occasions. 

Preferred qualifications: Knowledge of power systems for electric vehicles and experience working with computer and sensor hardware.

RADAR Clustering & Tracking

RADAR is a critical data source for autonomous vehicles as they provide very accurate relative velocity calculations - something cameras and lidar struggle with. A strong initiative over the last two years has been the development of RADAR for WATonomous. We are looking for a dedicated student to help build a sensor-fusion module for our new RADARs. RADARs produce a pointcloud which then needs to be clustered into objects, filtered for abnormal detections, then fused in real time with our LIDAR and camera detections.


You will be working closely with the Perception Object tracking team and the RADAR team as we finalize the requirements for the RADAR detections and integrate the detections into our existing kalman filter object tracker. - Nice to have: C++, Python, MATLAB / Simulink, prior knowledge of classical Computer Vision, RADAR, pointcloud clustering, and object tracking.

Mechanical Division 

Sensor Mounting

The Sensor Mounting group is responsible to mount all sensors safely, and design necessary enclosures for these sensors. The group performs analysis using tools such as ANSYS to verify design choices and to ensure all sensors are stable during motion. These sensors include cameras, LiDARs, and GPS. The group works closely with electrical and software teams to determine what sensors are required, how they need to be mounted, and enclosure requirements.

Infrastructure & Compute Rack

The group is responsible for outfitting our Test Track with the necessary equipment to simulate competition conditions as closely as possible. This allows for more holistic testing of the car’s performance. Recent projects include designing and building a mobile rig for a pedestrian dummy and designing a mount for traffic lights.

The group is also responsible for maintaining and improving upon the current Compute Rack in the car. The group ensures that any new equipment mounted onto the car is connected effectively to the compute rack. Furthermore, the group directly deals with any possible improvements to the Compute Rack design.

Business Division 

External Sponsorship

The External Sponsorship Group is responsible for following leads of potential sponsors for both software/hardware donations as well as monetary sponsorships. The process begins with following up with a lead and ends with closing the deal. Sponsorship works closely with finance and internal affairs to ensure that all goals and deadlines are met.

Internal Sponsorship

The Internal Sponsorship team is a mission-critical part of our team and our main source of funding. The Internal Sponsorship Team is responsible for presenting sponsorship pitches to WEEF, MEF, and ENG-SOC and generates over 25,000 dollars in funding each year. We're looking for 2-3 members to assist with organizing these pitches. Afterwards, members will likely migrate to other projects in Business or in the greater team.


The Marketing Group is in charge of engaging external parties such as students, faculty members, and sponsors on the team’s progress. The Group is responsible for building WATonomous as a brand. We're currently looking for someone with interest in videography to organize a publicity video highlighting our progress in the last year on our autonomous stack. You'll be talking with and interviewing members across all divisions and directing the vision for the project.


The Design Group is responsible for creating and updating designs for WATonomous. This role involves creating attractive and user-friendly website layouts, promotional materials, swag, and car wraps. You’ll also have the opportunity to help set our own brand guidelines. We are looking for someone who loves working with Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, or Sketch!


For resources regarding all positions, see our resources page

Found a role that interest you?