SAAM’s new Board of Directors

At SAAM’s last General Assembly, new members were voted in SAAM’s Board of Directors. Here is a presentation of each of the new Board members.

Hans Wicki, President of SAAM

 

Link to blog article “Presenting our new President Hans Wicki”

 


 

Emlio Frazzoli, ETHZ

Emilio Frazzoli is a professor of Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH Zurich. Until March 2021, he was Chief Scientist of Motional, the latest embodiment of nuTonomy, the startup he founded with Karl Iagnemma in 2013. His main research interest are in robotics, autonomous systems, and intelligent mobility.  A former full professor at MIT, he directed the research group that first demonstrated an autonomous mobility (“robotaxi”) service to the public, and performed the first analysis of the social and economic impact of such a service, based on real transportation data. He holds a Laurea Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Sapienza University of Rome, and a PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT.

1) How can Switzerland take on a leading role in automated driving?

The autonomous driving industry has evolved past the initial hype and is currently going through a phase of slower but steady progress, requiring massive investments, which are currently pursued by technology companies and/or established automotive OEMs. Switzerland has neither. However, Switzerland has a very strong track record in mobility innovation, a highly skilled workforce, and a supportive attitude towards sustainable and socially conscious technology development.
Hence, a possible strategy is that of being a leader in policy, regulations, and technological niches.

In addition, Switerland’s geography is remarkably distinct from other markets: instead of the US urban sprawl or Asian high-density supercities, Switzerland is charaterized by many smaller cities connected by highly efficient mass transit — as indeed is much of Europe. As a consequence, Switzerland could serve as an attractive point of entry to Europe for global companies, exploring new options both for urban first- and last-mile mobility, and for rural services.

2) As a member of the Board of Directors, how can you help SAAM achieve what you have mentioned in question 2? 

As an academic and an entrepreneur, I have been pioneering technologies for autonomous mobility since the early 2000’s, before they became fashionable. As the CTO and Chief Scientist of nuTonomy (now Motional) from 2013 to 2021, I have experienced first hand the issues affecting technology development and market entry. Currently back to full-time academia, I intend to keep exploring technological and policy roadmaps to realize the potential of autonomus mobility, within my own group, and as the current Deputy Director of the newly established Center for Sustainable Future Mobility at ETH, in collaboration with local industry, government, and academic partners.


 

Prof. Thomas Probst, Universität Freiburg

 

As an economist and lawyer I realised about ten years ago that I lacked sufficient knowledge in the field of new technologies. So I started to do research in areas such as computer science, automated driving, blockchain, AI etc. in order to gain a better understanding of the complex relationships between law, economy and technology. It soon turned out that automated driving is one of the most complex challenges that combines those areas, with an additional layer of social considerations on top. All this gave rise to the idea of establishing an interdisciplinary group of people devoted to fundamental and applied research in the field of mobility that today is known as SwissMoves. 

1) How can Switzerland take on a leading role in automated driving? 

Switzerland should take advantage of its cultural diversity as well as its local and social proximity to promote an interdisciplinary approach to automated mobility that aims at integrating monodisciplinary elements into a broader architecture of innovative solutions. In other words, the focus should be on the conception and conduction of an orchestra not on drums and trombones. 

2) As a member of the Board of Directors, how can you help SAAM achieve what you have mentioned above? 

As a co-founder of SwissMoves with multi-disciplinary background I hope to contribute to a more holistic approach to automated mobility. I believe that SAAM is in a good position to acquire a broad view of current developments that may be directed towards innovative solutions. 


 

Marco Fuster, Bernmobil

With a degree in economy and many years of practical experience in finance and in the public transport sector, I have in the last 10 years not only been involved with SBB, but also with BERNMOBIL for sustainable mobility solutions at national and local level. I have initiated and was responsible for the recently completed automated vehicle project “Matteschnägg” in the city of Bern. 

1) How can Switzerland take on a leading role in automated driving? 

Switzerland has enough innovative power and financial resources to tackle the challenges of automated driving. Essential advantages are fast communication channels and well established networking activities across institutions, which is even accelerated by SAAM. Based on courage and pioneering spirit, Switzerland has proven again and again that it can achieve great things in the context of mobility. If we manage to channel all these advantages, we can in turn achieve great things. 

2) As a member of the Board of Directors, how can you help SAAM achieve what you have mentioned above? 

Just like SAAM, I believe in sustainable and intelligent mobility solutions and I work for it every day, not only at work but also privately. With my communicative, result-oriented behaviour, I can contribute to moving things forward and convincing people in and outside the SAAM association. Based on my experience in various associations, I can also help to further develop and consolidate the structures of SAAM. 


 

Marc Chatelain, TPG

With an engineering degree in electricity and a Master in economy in which I have studied Swissmetro’s propulsion system, I have gained broad experience on two types of mobility. The first one is in the airline industry as an airline pilot (Swissair/Swiss A330/A320). Secondly, in the field of public transports where I have managed all operational aspects of classic mobility (drivers, controls, training, scheduling, regulation, control tower) and coordinated the strategic orientation of innovative mobility projects, such as the implementation of autonomous vehicles (line XA) and the AVENUE project. Lastly, I am part of the Mobility 4.0 research program of the Swiss federal road office (FEDRO). 

1) How can Switzerland take on a leading role in automated driving? 

Switzerland is very well positioned on the development of new forms of mobility, thanks to a lot of advantages, such as: 

  • An already efficient communication / mobility system 
  • Openness to innovation 
  • High value human skills 
  • A pragmatic approach 
  • Good financial resources 
  • Close cooperation between universities, private companies and government 
  • A flexible legal framework 
  • Strong willingness to find solutions 
  • Various cultures 
  • An already good positioning in the research on automated driving 

 

2) As a member of the Board of Directors, how can you help SAAM achieve what you have mentioned above? 

We are at the beginning of a revolution in all aspects of mobility. I see the role of SAAM board members in being able to develop and share a vision of the various possible evolutions of autonomous mobility, identify the opportunities, and anticipate the risks. I also see this role as being able to share this vision with all stakeholders (companies, government, medias, etc), and facilitate all related reflexions, researches and developments. I also see this role as a link between the various partners, and with our own companies, so that we all bring our forces together. 


 

Ruben Andre Lorenzo, Siemens 

I have studied business administration and psychology (MSc) before working in the mobility industry for 7 years where I have been responsible to bring digitalisation solutions, IoT, cybersecurity, etc., to the swiss market. 

1) How can Switzerland take on a leading role in automated driving? 

Switzerland’s innovative strength in the mobility sector sets it apart from other countries. This, coupled with the right people who want to push things forward and the right technology, will lead to continuing on being a pioneer in autonomous driving. 

2) As a member of the Board of Directors, how can you help SAAM achieve what you have mentioned above? 

As I come from the technology industry, my role will be to bring technological aspects. In addition, due to the fact I have studied psychology, I love asking random and broad questions so that we can then formulate answers together as a team. 


 

Dominique Scheller, PostAuto 

  • Business economist with Master in strategic management and innovation 
  • 5 years experience in corporate development and strategy 
  • 10 years experience in new business and innovation in the field of digital, physical as well as combined business models 
  • 1 year experience in M&A 
  • 5 years experience in the field of electric mobility business models (B2C and B2B, SME and real estate) 

 

1) How can Switzerland take on a leading role in automated driving? 

Switzerland is an attractive test market globally, thanks to the fact is has engaged with pilots at an early stage. In addition, the regulators create good conditions for Switzerland to become an attractive test market in the area of automated driving. High purchasing power combined with strong Swiss innovation drive enables attractive new business models. 

2) As a member of the Board of Directors, how can you help SAAM achieve what you have mentioned above? 

SAAM has mastered the storming phase very well. This is represented by the large number of members who have joined and who share a great interest in this extremely complex topic. Now the focus should be on building up a good solid basis for the association’s further activities in the norming phase. Based on my diverse experience in associations and management, I can offer SAAM support in particular in this area.  

 

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