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. Computer Science & Product, Stanford University.

Fabrizio
Scelsi

Co-Founder, VP Engineering

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, Director 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

Director of 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

Director of Safety

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

VP - 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

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.

Friederike
Reuter

Director of Expansion

WHAT DRIVES ME

Solving complex problems with ambitious and talented people who don’t accept the status quo. And having fun at the same time.

BACKGROUND

Political theorist turned economist turned venture builder. I hold degrees in economics from Harvard and Oxford, where I was a Rhodes Scholar, and spent a couple years as a consultant incubating and advising digital businesses at BCG.

Christian
Hertlein

Director of Product Design and Brand

WHAT DRIVES ME

Building the future of mobility, which is sustainable and truly serving the needs of people, by creating a holistic experience, a relatable brand and shaping services that are going to make a difference to how we move within and between cities.

BACKGROUND

Head of Global Design at N26, Senior Lead Designer at IDEO, in-car interactions for Volkswagen.

David
Gossow

Engineering Lead

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.

Vladimir
Bilonenko

Senior Engineering Manager

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.

Beatrice
Tîrziu

Software Engineer

WHAT DRIVES ME

The people around me. Seeing the team have such drive, determination and passion is unique and certainly contagious.

BACKGROUND

Having a B. Sc. and M. Sc. in Computer Science, I joined Vay as a Software Engineer in the company’s first months and early in my career. Still growing and learning together two years later.

 

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.

Anja
Rechtsteiner

Head 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 in leading communication agencies for 15 years 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.

Johanna
Loomis

Lead Industrial Designer

WHAT DRIVES ME

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

BACKGROUND

Industrial Designer and Team Lead at TEAMS Design GmbH for over six years, started as a Trainee in Shanghai, China. Worked as Industrial and Product Designer at Lothar Böhm Associates, Lutz Herrmann Design and Werksdesign. Completed the GROW Design Leadership & Management Training and is an IF-Award jury since 2022.

Meet Volker Hartmann, VP of Legal and Governmental Affairs

Volker has worked 14+ years as in-house legal counsel in the automotive sector, including roles at Audi, Daimler and Volkswagen Group. He specialises in product compliance and product liability law, and generally the interplay between technology, law and politics, dubbing it the “matrix” to successfully bring new products and services into markets. Volker globally led the legal teams for autonomous driving at Audi and Daimler and participated in relevant working groups on the amendment of the German Road Traffic Act (StVG) for automated driving in both 2021 and 2017. Also, he gained insights into legal M&A as General Counsel at Munich-based Autonomous Intelligent Driving (the VW Group corporate startup for L4 autonomous driving) where he advised on the acquisition of the company by Argo AI Inc. At his last position as VP of Quality ADAS/AD at CARIAD SE he was the co-project lead for the VW/Bosch R&D cooperation in the field of assisted and automated driving. Volker studied German and European law and his PhD thesis dealt with a topic in product liability law in the automotive sector. He publishes regularly in law journals and is a guest lecturer on intelligent mobility at the University of St. Gallen, where he lectures on legal issues related to autonomous driving, intelligent mobility and robots in road traffic.

When not looking into law books, Volker likes to draw comic books and graffiti styles with his oldest daughter, or he is programming beats on a drum computer with his youngest daughter – if not playing the real drums with his son. 

Volker Hartmann
What is your role at Vay?

I am the VP of Legal and Governmental Affairs. This means I am responsible for all legal matters at Vay, for example in commercial, corporate or product topics. Also, my role encompasses being Vay’s tactical and strategic liaison with authorities, regulators and lawmakers.

After working over a decade for incumbent automotive brands like Audi and Daimler, what made you turn to the startup side of the industry?

My main motivation has always been to contribute to something meaningful and also to create a direct impact. Having said that, at the big corporate legal departments I also always played in the “New School” teams who wanted to do things differently or try out different approaches to legal workstyles. Over time, I realised that there are often historically grown structures, hierarchical mindsets, and interior politics which simply limited the space to do things the way I wanted to do them. Also, I am fascinated by working on the intersection of legal and deep tech. Startups are faster in their development iterations which also brings much more spice into the legal side of this.

What was your topic of dissertation and how useful has it been for your area of expertise in such a regulated, technical and disciplined sector?

My PhD thesis dealt with a topic at the intersection of product liability and competition law in the automotive industry. As I did the PhD extra-occupationally to my job in Audi’s legal department (which I don’t recommend doing as I didn’t have any free weekends for nearly 3 years), it of course helped me a lot. Still, I would consider product liability law as one of my core competences. And this field is super important for any new product or tech you want to introduce to the market.

What sparked your interest in joining Vay’s vision? What do you hope to achieve at Vay?

As I have been working on autonomous driving matters since 2015, I was right away fascinated by Vay’s totally new and unconventional approach to bringing vehicles without human drivers on board to public roads. I spend quite a bit of time investigating the capabilities of robots to comply with laws made by humans for humans. This is really not trivial and Vay’s technology provides some smart solutions, bridges and “shortcuts” which can be used to bring robotic vehicles towards market-readiness. I hope that I can contribute to Vay’s success in revolutionising urban mobility and improve the way we organise it.

What do you find the most exciting or challenging about in-house legal counsel in the automotive and software sector?

What I always enjoy most is the direct interaction with engineers of all disciplines and diving into their worlds to understand how things really work. Then, in a second step, you need to translate this back into legal language and then again back into another language so that engineers understand legal advice and requirements etc. This exercise can be incredibly challenging and fun at the same time. It’s the fusion of two worlds. You need to be creative and structured, agile in thinking and binding in legal advice.

What has been the biggest highlight of your career to date?

Well, I encountered several exciting situations in my career – but if I had to pick the top 3:

  1. Building friendships with the in-house and external legal teams at Audi México in 2014/15;
  2. The first time being driven by a robot – a prototype of the Audi Highway Pilot in 2016;
  3. And just a couple of days ago, the first time I teledrove a Vay vehicle on the test track!

Where do you hope to see Vay 10 years from now?

From the technological point of view: In vehicles all over the world, helping to make urban mobility smarter. From a corporate perspective, I would be happy to see a grown and established company with good governance principles which administers a working culture in which a motivated and agile team empowers their talents to creating something new for a better world.

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