Speakers

Sven Beiker, PhD
External Advisor
SAE International 

Dr. Sven Beiker has spent more than two decades focusing on the future of mobility and automotive safety during a career spanning BMW Group, McKinsey & Company, and Stanford University. Today, he is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Mobility, a consulting and advisory firm he founded in 2017 specializing in technical diligence, product roadmaps and business models for mobility. Dr. Beiker is also an External Advisor to SAE International where he works with the industry association to further improve safety, efficiency, and convenience of automobiles and automated vehicles in particular. And he serves on advisory boards of several startups in the mobility space, as an advisor to the German American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco, and as an advisor / co-editor to the Springer Lecture Notes in Mobility. 

Igino Cafiero
CEO
Bear Flag Robotics

Igino Cafiero is the CEO and cofounder of Bear Flag Robotics, which was acquired by John Deere in 2021. Bear Flag Robotics develops autonomous technology compatible with existing agriculture machine forms. In his role, Igino and his team focus on developing technology to support the integration of autonomy on the modern farm. Igino has business experience across a broad range of sectors including automotive, telecom and agriculture. Prior to founding Bear Flag Robotics, Igino was a product manager at Cisco Systems. He earned a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon, an MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford and an MBA from the Wharton School. 

MJ Chun
Head of Product
Serve Robotics

Bio coming soon!

Miguel D Acosta
Chief, Autonomous Vehicles Branch
California Department of Motor Vehicles

Bio coming soon! 

Christopher Fox
Engineering Consultant, ADAS & LV Systems
Munro & Associates

I have been working for Munro & Associates since 2010. Since that time, I have been a part of nearly 200 complete vehicle teardowns, a slew of appliance projects, and a handful of commercial HVAC projects. Around 2015 I transitioned more into a low voltage and ADAS focus. By 2020 I was the LV and ADAS lead for Munro’s small EV programs.

David Gannon
Director of Mobility Sales
Murata

David Gannon is the Director of Mobility Sales for Murata Electronics North America.  David has extensive experience in the automotive industry spanning over 20 years in automotive engineering, sales, and executive management. He has worked at all levels of automotive including the OEM, Tier 1, Tier 2, & Semiconductor industry. David currently leads a team that drives innovation in mobility and is an influencer in the mobility space. 

Ryan Gariepy
Co-Founder and CTO 
Clearpath Robotics and OTTO Motors

Ryan Gariepy is co-founder and CTO of both Clearpath Robotics and OTTO Motors. He serves on the board of the NSERC Canadian Robotics Network, Open Robotics, and is a co-founder of ROSCon, the first and largest conference for robotics developers. Ryan is also an advisor to several startups and venture capital groups, and helped found the Next Generation Manufacturing Canada initiative. 

Ryan guides the development of OTTO Motors’ autonomous control software and self-driving technology while guiding the continued expansion of research platform lines and custom industrial automation solutions. His previous work experience included UAV user experience and control systems design at Aeryon Labs as well as deployment and systems analysis on what were the world's largest fleets of mobile robots at Kiva Systems (now Amazon Robotics).

 

Jillian Kaplan
5G and Telecom Thought Leadership Lead
Dell Technologies

Jillian Kaplan joined Dell Technologies in 2018 and currently leads 5G and Telecom Thought Leadership. In this role her team has global responsibility for ensuring the Telecoms and CSPs can monetize their investments in 5G through future Enterprise use cases. 


Prior to Dell Technologies, Jillian spent 14 years at Verizon. She joined as a Central Office Network Engineer during the launch of FTTP (FiOS). FTTP was a complete network overhaul from copper to fiber. She managed over a billion dollars in inventory in the Central Offices in New England and New Jersey ensuring all equipment was properly engineered, accounted for and utilized. While she worked, she received a Technical MBA and upon completion started a new role Product Management where she managed a SaaS product called Verizon Concierge. She also has a background in Marketing Operations and Sales Enablement for a well-rounded skills set in high tech.
 

Bert Kaufman
Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs
Zoox

Bio coming soon!

Leonard Lee
Managing Director & Founder
neXT Curve

Leonard Lee is the managing director and founder of neXt Curve, a research advisory firm focused on cross-domain ICT technology and industry research. neXt Curve advises some of the leading technology companies, regulators and enterprises.

With 30 years of experience as a management consultant and industry analyst, Mr. Lee is a former managing partner with Gartner Inc. and partner/principal with IBM and PwC who has advised and delivered emerging technology and digital business solutions to leading enterprises across a broad range of industries including entertainment & media, telecommunications, financial services, energy, pharmaceutical, and consumer and commercial high-tech. 

Ryan McMichael
Senior Manager, Sensor Engineering
Zoox

Bio coming soon! 

Mike Oitzman
Editor
Mobile Robot Guide & The Robot Report at WTWH Robotics

Mike Oitzman is Editor of WTWH's Robotics Group and founder of the Mobile Robot Guide. Oitzman is a robotics industry veteran with 25-plus years of experience at various high-tech companies in the roles of marketing, sales and product management. He can be reached at [email protected]

Ali Ranjbar
Director, EE Advance Development
Karma Automotive

Bio coming soon!

Mike Schnecker
Business Development Manager
Rohde & Schwarz

Mike Schnecker has a BS from Lehigh University and an MS from Georgia Tech, both in electrical engineering. His experience in the test and measurement industry includes applications, sales and product development and he has specialized in signal integrity applications using oscilloscopes and other instruments. Prior to joining Rohde & Schwarz, Mr. Schnecker held positions at LeCroy and Tektronix. While at LeCroy, he was responsible for the deployment of the SDA series of serial data analyzers.

Rini Sherony
Sr. Principal Engineer
Toyota Motor North America (TMNA)

Rini Sherony is a Sr. Principal Engineer at Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC), part of Toyota Motor North America in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is with Toyota for over 20 years working in active safety and automated driving research, system design, evaluation/planning and data analysis. Rini has a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering. Currently Rini is the lead for active safety, automated driving collaboration research and data analysis.

Dima Sosnovsky
Automotive Sensors System Architect
Huawei

For more than 13 years I’ve been engaged in developing complex systems, that deliver not only the proper technological solution but adding measurable value to the customer. Formerly, System Engineering Group Manager in Innoviz Technologies, my current position is Principal Automotive Sensors System Architect in Huawei Israel, developing Next-Gen LiDAR concepts.

Arne Stoschek 
Project Executive
Wayfinder

Arne is the Project Executive of Wayfinder, a project with the goal of buildingautonomous flight and machine learning solutions to enable self-piloted aircraft operation. Arne is passionate about robotics and autonomous vehicles. He has previously held engineering leadership positions at global companies such as Volkswagen/Audi and Infineon, and at aspiring Silicon Valley startups, namely Lucid Motors/Atieva, Knightscope, and Better Place.Arne earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Technical University of Munich, and held a computer vision and data analysis research position at Stanford University.

Willard Tu
Senior Director, Automotive Business Unit
Xilinx

Willard Tu is a Senior Director at Xilinx, where he leads global business development, product planning, and marketing strategies for the company’s automotive business. Tu has spent over two decades at the axis of the semiconductor, automotive and computing industries. He was previously at Arm, where he evangelized CPU IP and developed ecosystems to support Arm's growth in automotive. At NEC Electronics, (now Renesas), Tu led the North American Automotive sales and marketing teams, growing sales to over $150 million. Tu holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. 

Vandi Verma, Ph.D
Assistant Section Manager, Mobility and Robotics Systems
NASA JPL 

Vandi Verma is the Chief Engineer of Robotic Operations for Mars 2020 Perseverance, and the Assistant Section Manager for Mobility and Robotics Systems at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She specializes in space robotics, autonomous robots and robotic operations. She has worked on a number of Space Robotics and Artificial Intelligence research and technology development tasks and has designed, developed, and operated robots on Mars, the Arctic, Antarctica, and the Atacama Desert.  

She holds a Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University and has been working at NASA since 2004. She works on new space robotics capabilities from early design, through development, testing and launch, to landing and surface operations. As Assistant Section Manager for Mobility and Robotics she helps lead about 150 JPL roboticists developing new technology for future missions and working on a variety of JPL robotic missions. The Mars Ingenuity Helicopter technology is an example of the kind of innovation developed by JPL Robotics. 

Since 2008 she has been driving rovers on Mars (Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, and Perseverance) and operating the robotic arm, sampling system, and Mars Ingenuity helicopter. She has designed and programmed flight software that runs onboard Curiosity and Perseverance, and simulation software used in Mars operations. She works on autonomous robotic arm positioning and autonomous science targeting for Perseverance. 

 

Yimeng Zhang
US Site Lead & VP of Engineering
Pony.ai

Dr. Yimeng Zhang is the V.P. of Engineering and U.S. Site Lead of Pony.ai. She has 15 years of experience in perception and machine learning. She is the head of the perception and prediction team in Pony.ai. She also leads the operation of the U.S. site of the company. Before joining Pony.ai, she worked at Waymo, known as Google self-driving car, for about four years. As one of the early members of Waymo, she has successfully led and deployed the technology of many primary components of perception. Before joining Waymo, she worked in the Google search team, developing and launching a few product features. 

Yimeng got her Ph.D. in Cornell University, Master in Carnegie Mellon University, and Bachelor in Kyoto University. She has multiple well-cited papers in the top international conferences of the area.