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)

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.

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.

VayGPT and more: Highlights from our hackathon

Co-Founder and Director of Engineering – Teledrive Experience, Bogdan Djukic, organised a highly engaging hackathon as one of our main team activities during vConnect.  Our talented experts from diverse fields came together to collaborate across teams.

Co-Founder and Director of Engineering for Teledrive Experience, Bogdan Djukic

Bogdan is a highly valued engineering lead at Vay, who is our expert for the Teledrive Experience, which encompasses all product areas related to Teledrivers, such as real-time, low-latency video streaming. With his impressive background as Team Lead at Microsoft and Senior Software Engineer at Skype, as well as a total of 15+ years of experience in shipping enterprise and consumer facing software products, he learned how to tackle complex challenges and lead engineering teams through periods of ambiguity.

“After 34 submitted hackathon ideas, 1.5 days of building, 45 pizzas and 45 bowls we were able to listen to 10 incredible hack pitches.” – Bogdan

But let’s start from the beginning:

Bogdan, what was the task for the hackathon? Were there any restrictions on the team’s work?

“Our team at Vay consists of a quite diverse group of amazing professionals with unique skills and talents. Their combined knowledge and passion make Vay an incredible hub of creativity and innovation. The hackathon used this power to think forward and drive new action with no restrictions except the time limit!”

After gathering many ideas, evaluating them and forming teams around these ideas, Bogdan kicked off the hackathon with ten different groups, each with their own challenge to solve. 

Here are some of the ideas, our team worked on for 1.5 days:

  • Audio Haptic G-force Feedback: G-force feedback is essential for the safety of driving. Our teledrive station has visual cues to inform the teledriver of the relative g-force. Esther Daweke, Richard Schubert, Srikanth Mangipudi and Thierry Backes worked on this helpful innovation to provide additional haptic and audio feedback for braking & throttle, using a vibrating seat and audio synthesis.
  • Silence is not golden: Dmytro Makarenko, Artem Kushnir and David Gossow used the promising ML approach to increase the efficiency of finding video files for specific scenarios in a big database of Vay’s video recordings from teledriving sessions. These video files would be then used in ML training pipelines.
  • VayGPT: Just like every other company, we have various information sources. Ebrahim Bararian, Bartosz Tomczyk, Bruno Ribeiro da Silva, Adam Balazs and Philipp Leufke worked on an innovative  Vay internal AI tool, which they call VayGPT. The potential use cases are limitless: Querying and summarising information from various platforms (Google docs, Jira, Github, Slack,…),  identifying inconsistencies within documents, assuring better quality processes, correlating different data sources to generate answers, extracting crucial information like action items and important discussions from the meetings, summarising long slack threads… This tool will be a real help for us at Vay.
  • Vehicle Status Panel: Kiril Vuchkov, Guilherme Müller, Ezequiel Arnaude, Jan Lack and Vladimir Vinogradov won first place in Vay’s hackathon- and quite rightly so. They worked on the challenge to keep critical information always up to date. They achieved this by creating one panel – instead of various information sources – to concentrate all the information in one place (e.g. vehicle type, configuration, hardware, software). Congrats to the whole team for this amazing idea!

All hackathon attendees voted to choose the Vay hackathon winners. The top three teams won prizes for their team to experience a fun activity together.

What do you think of the winning project “Vehicle Status Panel”, Bogdan?

“I am very proud of the team and love the idea! They worked on the project constructively and achieved a result that can truly help us in our daily challenges. We will work on this project further to implement it in our processes.”

What do you think of the team’s performances over the past 1.5 days?

“It is amazing to see the results in such a short time! This hackathon assured us again that our team is super fast, action driven and incredibly competent in what they do. I am quite excited to work with our incredible team and implement the hackathon ideas to our production environment.”

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