Thomas
von der Ohe

Co-Founder, CEO

WHAT DRIVES ME

You come across an opportunity to positively impact societies around the globe maybe once in your lifetime. An opportunity to truly make a difference. Our unique approach to autonomous driving gives us this chance: redefining how people move in a better way. Building and shipping a product with this great team is what drives me day and night.

BACKGROUND

Launched Zoox’ first self-driving vehicle on public streets as leading Technical Program Manager in Silicon Valley, launched Amazon’s first Echo as leading Technical Program Manager on Device Software, Founded two (funded) mobility companies. M. Sc. Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University.

Fabrizio
Scelsi

Co-Founder, CTO

WHAT DRIVES ME

Building products together with an amazing team based on cutting-edge technology to serve a greater purpose and solve problems – for the people, for our planet.

BACKGROUND

Manager of an engineering team in Silicon Valley to build autonomous shuttles, built teams and various mobility products: electric race cars, e-motorcycles, light electric vehicles, electric passenger vehicles, including one of the most successful electric delivery vehicles in Germany. RWTH Aachen, Imperial College London.

Bogdan
Djukic

Co-founder, VP Engineering & Teledrive Experience

WHAT DRIVES ME

Vay is aiming to launch the first vehicle without a safety driver on public roads in Europe. This involves exciting engineering challenges, many of which have never been worked on before, ranging from autonomous vehicle technology, cybersecurity, backend, machine learning and safety-critical SW. Coming up with engineering solutions to these topics is something that I’m super excited to work on at Vay.

BACKGROUND

Team Lead at Microsoft, Senior Software Engineer at Skype. M. Sc. in Computer Science from Belgrade University.

Mariona
Bosch

VP Programs and Engineering Operations

WHAT DRIVES ME

Working closely with people from different cultures and professional backgrounds (hardware, software, operations, etc.) gives me the chance to learn new ways of approaching projects, structuring teams, and setting up processes every day. The results of this incredible teamwork are hugely rewarding, and visible in each step of our product.

BACKGROUND

Part of the management circle at AUDI AG, responsible for the implementation of prototypes at early development stages of new products (innovation vehicles, concept and pre-series vehicles, show cars, design models, testing single parts, PoCs, 3D-printing)

Hans-Leo
Ross

Safety Advisor

WHAT DRIVES ME

All my professional life I have been working for the protection and safety of people and the environment. I want to further provide safe and user-friendly automation systems for our future mobility needs.

BACKGROUND

25+ years experience in system safety at Conti., Mando, Bosch. Led the VDA working group in Germany to create ISO 26262 and influenced worldwide safety standardization. Author of several text books on functional safety.

Justin
Spratt

CBO - Business & Corporate Development

WHAT DRIVES ME

What drives me is to work on goals that have a big impact on society. Additionally, I wanted to work with the smartest and most innovative people in the tech world. That’s better at Vay than any other company I’ve spoken to recently.

BACKGROUND

Responsible for global strategic partnerships at Uber, where he focused on deals with automotive OEMs, vehicle fleet operators, vehicle battery technology companies and electrification infrastructure providers. Was CEO and chief growth officer at Quirk. Began his professional life at Morgan Stanley as a fixed income trader after studying economics and finance. Built the first startup incubator in Africa in 2002 and has been mentoring founders of technology startups for over ten years. He is an angel investor in software technology and holds board positions in some of these companies.

Anja
Rechsteiner

Director of Communications

WHAT DRIVES ME

What drives me is to start something from scratch and use all my experience to find the best way to communicate our exciting story. I believe my work can have an impact on how people feel about more sustainable transportation options.

BACKGROUND

Worked for 15 years in leading communication agencies such as fischerAppelt and Ketchum in Germany and the UK for various brands and companies from FMCG to travel to mobility. Holds an MBA in Communication & Leadership from Quadriga University as well as a Master degree in History, Sociology and Media & Art Studies from University of Constance.

Caleb
Varner

US General Manager

WHAT DRIVES ME

We’re close to letting users experience the Vay Magic for the first time in Las Vegas and I know that they are going to find it a compelling mix of great value powered by a super slick in-app experience. It’s awesome to have the opportunity to take this piece of underlying tech (remote driving) and build an experience around it that users will use, love and tell their friends about.

BACKGROUND

Co-founded and served as the Global General Manager of Uber Rent & Valet, a new mobility investment by Uber. Lead the Global Vehicles team at Uber, overseeing critical planning and P&L responsibilities. Built Uber’s vehicles business in Latin America from the ground and managed the customer-facing financial services business across Sub-Saharan Africa. Lead international financial services strategy engagements with the Boston Consulting Group for John Deere, focusing on regions like Brazil, Africa, and India. Owns a Masters of Business Administration of Duke University.

David
Gossow

Senior Principal Software Engineer

WHAT DRIVES ME

After having worked in autonomous robotics research for a long time in the Silicon Valley, I am thrilled to be working at a company that is finally bringing this technology into people’s everyday lives.

BACKGROUND

Tech Lead at Google Tango in Mountain View, Research Engineer at Willow Garage, yoga instructor since 2018.

Johanna
Loomis

Lead Industrial Designer

WHAT DRIVES ME

What drives me at Vay is the enthusiasm and passion for a vision that is embedded in the company culture, and at the same time the strict discipline in its implementation.

BACKGROUND

Industrial Product Design Lead at TEAMS DESIGN GmbH for over six years, started as a Trainee in Shanghai City. Worked as Industrial and Product Designer at LOTHAR BOHM ASSOCIATES LIMITED, Lutz Herrmann Design, Indeed Innovation and Werksdesign.

Vladimir
Bilonenko

Director of Software Engineering

WHAT DRIVES ME

Helping engineers to do their best and most important work. Elegance in software. Bringing ideas from books to real life and from one domain to another. Going from A to B fast.

BACKGROUND

Software Generalist. Maps and Mobility Geek (Lon, Lat not Lat, Lon). High Load at Yandex, Geo Analytics and Last Mile at HERE Maps, Mobility Platform at Daimler. Conway’s Law Enthusiast.

ALINA
PRESTI

Teledriver

WHAT DRIVES ME

A car enthusiast, driven by cars, driving and technology.

BACKGROUND

Nursery school teacher. Driver at Skoda’s start-up Caredriver.

Stefano
Buzzanca

Head of Operations

WHAT DRIVES ME

What drives me at Vay is the magic. That daily feeling that every small step forward, every single improvement, every small success is a step towards the final goal: to create something unique that will change the lives of many.

BACKGROUND

His 20+ years of experience in various mobility companies make him a great leader and KPI driven operator at Vay. Launched and ran various mobility services in 16+ cities, focused on free-floating car-sharing.

Meet Caleb Varner, our US General Manager!

Caleb is leading our business in the United States – focused on launching our first commercial service. Caleb comes to Vay after co-founding and leading Uber’s investments in the rental car and car delivery spaces as their Global General Manager. Caleb joined Vay at the end of 2022, and is focused on driving our mission, to solve transportation in metropolitan areas by launching a safe, affordable and convenient door-to-door mobility service in the US.

With his expertise in the US mobility and transportation markets he has been a key addition to the Vay team that’s building the remote driving revolution. Take the chance to learn more about Caleb and his work at Vay:

Caleb, tell us about yourself and what you worked on before joining Vay:

At Uber I had the opportunity to build and launch the company’s rental car and delivery service. The service that we offered is called Uber Rent and Valet. With that rental service we tried to reduce personal car ownership. The Uber Valet product was built to give users access to cars they can drive at the touch of a button.

That’s exactly what drove me in my work at Uber and why I’m so excited about Vay’s mission: Making ordering and driving a car as easy as pushing a button.

What attracted you to join Vay?

The reason I was interested in Vay: they want to do something very similar to what we were aiming to do at Uber. The fundamental difference is that Vay has the underlying technology of teledriving (remote driving) to improve access to cars that you drive yourself and order directly to you through an app easily and quickly. Vay’s B2C service has the potential to revolutionize mobility in cities.

Remote-controlled cars give Vay the ability to deliver cars efficiently, with lower costs and quickly, made possible by teledriving. The teledriving mobility service means not only a great user experience, but also an attractive employment opportunity for employees and especially drivers.

What are your key responsibilities as the US General Manager at Vay?

The main responsibilities as US General Manager at Vay are to coordinate the broader team: technical, operations, finance, legal or communications, to design and deliver an experience that users will love, and build a product that offers a return on investment to Vay’s investors. To make that happen, all the different players have to come together across disciplines to develop our idea and the underlying technology into a product that not only meets users’ needs, but to build a product that users will love.

However, the product must not only serve the needs of users, but also be a profitable business. That’s also part of what falls within my remit as General Manager: Making sure we continue to provide users with a service they love and that makes business sense for Vay and their investors.

What drives you to focus on Vay’s mission?

There are many companies in the mobility space, but what excites me most is Vay’s vision of how the new mobility services will change the way we move in cities and how it can change the world as we know it in the future.

What also drives me is that Vay’s ability to deliver on the promise of bringing our door-to-door mobility services safely, affordably and sustainably from Europe to cities around the world seems very real.

I am excited to be able to bring our technology, developed in Europe, to market globally for the first time and to generate our first dollar of revenue in the United States. We’re working towards the goal of launching and scaling Vay’s service in the United States and around the world. 

For me, working at Vay is a great opportunity, not only professionally but also personally. I have the opportunity to build an innovative mobility service for myself as a user, and for many others around the world, that is sustainable and brings benefits for our society, cities and future customers.

How do you see the US transportation and new mobility market?

I think we at Vay have an opportunity in the US mobility space to really reduce personal car ownership in a sustainable way. What ridesharing has done for short trips in different areas, we could likely do with Vay’s teledriving service, given our cost structure, for medium and longer trips. That’s a very exciting business opportunity, but also a great chance to replace low-use personal cars and create more livable space in cities.

Where do you see the future of the teledrive-first approach of Vay?

Our teledrive-first approach allows us to go to market faster than if we had taken an autonomous-only approach first. I believe our approach makes the business and service we can provide to users safe and successful.

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t see the new mobility and transportation sector as a winner-takes-all market that Cruise, Waymo or other companies, for example, could claim on their own. We’ve even seen that with the recent announcements from Waymo and Uber in their partnership – it’s going to be a multi-player ecosystem.

I have learned to see the market of interest to Vay much more as an ecosystem approach. In this ecosystem there will always be areas where not all technologies work equally well. For example: In certain areas it will still be challenging to solve transportation problems through autonomous driving in the future. 

Therefore Vay’s successfully launched teledriving approach is able to play a role in the broader ecosystem that will change the transportation in metropolitan areas in the US, Europe, and in cities around the world.

Caleb Varner, US General Manager

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