Driving the Future of Trucking

Our Journey

Locomation is the world’s first trucking technology platform to combine AI-driven autonomy with driver augmentation. Launched in 2018, we believe in a trajectory that delivers full vehicle automation by first incorporating human interaction. Our central goals are the total elimination of all truck-involved accidents as well as radically-improved cost efficiencies and economic yield for our clients.

Our technology and our team are born out of decades of collective experience in cutting-edge AI and autonomous tech. We’re veterans of Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center where we built autonomous vehicles and AI-driven systems for dozens of applications including commercial and defense projects. Together, the Locomation team includes some of the world’s foremost experts in robotics technology, safety, and artificial intelligence.

Our Team

Dr. Çetin Meriçli

Co-founder & CEO

Çetin Meriçli, Ph.D. is a co-founder and the CEO of Locomation. Formerly a Special Faculty – Commercialization Specialist at the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) of Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute, Dr. Meriçli has over 15 years of experience in developing and deploying complex robotic systems for real-world applications – and he has played key roles in over a dozen high profile applied robotics projects.
His expertise can be read in over 40 publications on subjects covering his accomplishments including safe and efficient machine learning for robust robot autonomy and perception, robot learning from human demonstration and feedback, interactive learning, sliding autonomy through learning, long-term autonomy and lifelong learning, data-driven high-fidelity robot simulation, human-robot interaction, probabilistic robotics, multi-robot coordination and planning, and software engineering practices for robot software development.

Dr. Tekin Meriçli

Co-founder & CTO

Tekin Meriçli, Ph.D. is a co-founder and the CTO of Locomation. Prior to Locomation, he was a Special Faculty – Commercialization Specialist at the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) of Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute where he was also a Senior Robotics Engineer. Since 2003, Dr. Meriçli has been practicing systems engineering across a wide variety of robots and systems including autonomous and semi-autonomous ground vehicles, mapping, state estimation, and operator assist systems, perception and motion planning for ground and aerial robots, industrial automation and process improvement, wheeled tour guide and service robots, intelligent assistive robotic manipulators and search and rescue robots, and various legged robots. He also has over 40 publications in the areas of robotics and computer sciences, including best paper award recipients.

Michael George

Co-founder & VP of Engineering

Michael George is a co-founder, director, and VP of Engineering at Locomation. Prior to Locomation, Mr. George was a Senior Commercialization Specialist and Senior Robotics Engineer at the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), a division of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.
Mr. George has been active in robotics and autonomous systems for 15 years. He holds a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering degree with first class honors from the University of Sydney, Australia and a Master of Engineering degree in Robotics from the Australian Center for Field Robotics (ACFR).
Mr. George’s expertise includes positioning, localization, state estimation, and mapping for autonomous vehicles. While at the ACFR he worked on large-scale teams of air and ground robots in information gathering and mapping missions. He then spent several years in the aerospace industry working on real-time simulation software for pilot training, before moving to NREC in 2008.
At NREC, Mr. George was the lead engineer on multiple governmental and industry programs. Immediately prior to founding Locomation, he led NREC’s efforts on the U.S. Army Autonomous Ground Resupply contract.

Venkataramanan Rajagopalan

Co-founder & VP of Product

Venkataramanan Rajagopalan is a co-founder and the VP of Products at Locomation. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Robotics at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University and working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Technology Lab. With over 13 years of professional experience in the research and development of technologies for robotic systems including, Mr. Rajagopalan is building solutions for perception, planning and control algorithms for unmanned ground and aerial vehicles; and developing computer vision algorithms. His early work on the Convoy Active Safety Technology (CAST) has seen it continue on many successful demonstrations for the US Army and Marine Corps. And his work at Lockheed Martin Corporation has earned him prestigious technical honors and an Annual Ethics Award (2011).

Prof. Dr. Alonzo Kelly

Co-founder & Chief Scientist

Alonzo Kelly is a co-founder, director, and the Chief Scientist of Locomation. Professor Kelly started his career as an engineering manager working on the Space Shuttle Remote Manipulator System in the 1990s while also obtaining a degree in computer science. He went on to gain Ph.D. credentials in the newly formed robotics department at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). While at CMU, he also joined the technical staff at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for 2 terms. He has since then collaborated with JPL on R&D for the Mars rovers from the Pathfinder mission to the present.
Professor Kelly has made numerous fundamental contributions to robotics including the inverse dynamics approach to local planning that is now standard on autonomous vehicles (AVs) everywhere. This algorithm was a partial basis for CMU winning the DARPA Urban Challenge — an event that placed AVs in the mainstream media for the first time. Prior to the Urban Challenge, numerous pioneers including Professor Kelly had already been active in the AV field for almost twenty years.
Over decades of teaching mobile robots at CMU while also executing close to 100 robotics R&D programs at NREC, he eventually became a tenured full professor of robotics. Professor Kelly is an internationally recognized authority on robotics technology. He is the author of the comprehensive engineering text Mobile Robots: Mathematics Models and Methods as well as 200 other technical articles ranging from trade journals to academic papers to intellectual property disclosures and patents.

Jacqueline Foradori

Business Operations Manager

Jacqueline Foradori is the Business Operations Manager of Locomation, Inc. Prior to joining Locomation she was the Business Office Manager at GTL. She has had excellent opportunities working in various industries from accounting to franchising businesses; software development and process improvement; and human resources and business operations. The latter has allowed her to develop skills and knowledge of working in both small and large organizations with a wide variety of customers both locally and internationally. She has been afforded a wide array of duties and responsibilities in different aspects of each organization. Ms. Foradori studied French for International Business at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and completed her studies in France with the opportunity to study abroad at the Université de Nancy in Nancy, France. When she returned to the Pittsburgh area, she then obtained a Master's in Professional Leadership and a Master's in Business Administration from Carlow University. Ms. Foradori is also an active member of the community for several years, and is passionate about the community and city she lives in. She currently serves on the board of Pittsburgh Young Professionals (PYP) as 2020 President.

Ray Russell

Hardware Principal

Ray Russell is a 1981 graduate of Penn State University where he was awarded a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering. After graduation, he spent 20 years in the aerospace industry, working as a structural loads engineer for numerous aircraft companies including General Dynamics, Saab Aircraft, The Boeing Company and Lockheed-Martin. In recent years, he has turned his engineering and design talents towards the mobile robotics industry. Prior to forming RoPro Design in 2003, he had worked as a consultant in the robotics field for the Carnegie Science Center, Probotics and the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC). From 2003-2014, he owned and operated RoPro Design Inc, a small, energetic company specializing in the design and fabrication of prototypes for the mobile robotics market. In 2014, he took a sabbatical from his business and joined the academic staff of Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane Australia, where he led a small engineering team working on the next generation of agricultural robots. Returning to the States in 2016 he rejoined NREC and continued his work in the agricultural robotics field. While remaining part time at NREC, he joined the newly formed Locomation team in 2018 to pursue the dream of autonomous trucking.

Phil Compton

CFO

Phil Compton is the Chief Financial Officer of Locomation. Formerly the CFO of SingleSource Property Solutions, Phil has significant financial and operational experience in building the team, infrastructure and profitability of rapidly expanding companies. He has helped raise over $110M in venture capital financing, leading to the acquisition of 4 of his former companies. He was also the co-founder and CFO of Malcovery Security, a cyber security firm he helped launch in 2012 and sold in 2015, as well as the CFO for Netronome, CoManage and WiseWire.
Phil began his career with the Big Four public accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers and later joined Black Box Corporation as its first Controller. During his 5 year tenure at Black Box, he was heavily involved in planning a leveraged buyout (LBO), an Initial Public Offering (IPO), a successful reorganization under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and various SEC filings.
Phil is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a BS in Accounting from West Virginia University's Chambers College of Business & Economics, where he serves on the board. He is also an ongoing guest lecturer / mentor at Carnegie Mellon University's Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship and an advisor within the Pittsburgh startup community.

Glynn Spangenberg

Head of Sales

Glynn Spangenberg officially entered the trucking industry in 1973 when he earned the Truck Transportation Merit Badge as a Boy Scout, interning at Matlack Trucking, and later working his way through college as a lumper, hand-loading trailers with cases of manufactured wine bottles. Today, Glynn is an active member of the American Trucking Associations and the Truckload Carriers Association where he serves on numerous boards and committees that are helping to define the future of trucking.
Since his post-collegiate days, he has been on the tip of the spear in launching some of the most revolutionary new trucking technology with companies like:
• Comdata Corporation, which successfully leapfrogged Western Union in the cash advance and fuel payments market in the '80's;
• EDS Corporation, where he introduced the first commercial pay-at-the-pump fuel card technology to Pilot Travel Centers in the early '90's;
• QUALCOMM, which revolutionized the trucking industry by delivering real-time two-way satellite tracking and communications;
• Trimble, where as President of Transportation & Logistics Innovations he illustrated and copyrighted the first mirrorless truck concept that he termed ``Smart Mirror``.

Our Advisors

Anne Bonaparte

Advisor

Anne Bonaparte is a serial entrepreneur, founder, CEO and board member with deep experience scaling emerging enterprise SaaS and cybersecurity companies through high growth stages to become market leaders that endure. Anne's foundational experience leading $500M divisions of large technology companies complements her multiple startup CEO successes capturing market value. Anne enjoys advising entrepreneurs on strategy, go to market and team execution to advance their impact. In addition to her technology experience, Anne developed her early strategy skills at Bain, serves on the board at a leading winery, Schramsberg, and founded a nonprofit to change the conversation about death and dying, DeathWise. Anne graduated, with Distinction, from the Harvard Business School and holds an Industrial Engineering degree from Stanford University.

John Formisano

Advisor

John E. Formisano is a retired transportation executive. He currently is an advisor to automotive OEMs,Venture Capital firms and startup companies in the vehicle and logistics space. Currently he is on the advisory boards of Motus Ventures, Motion Intellegence and Autocar Trucks. He served on the Advisory Board of Peloton Technologies, Motiv Power Systems and last mile delivery startup Doorman. He is currently a Senior Advisor to strategy consulting company Roland Berger. Previous positions include executive positions at Fedex Express, where he had responsibility for the global vehicle and ground support equipment fleet, President of Reyes Fleet Management, Board of Directors Chairman at CALSTART, and Board Member for electric vehicle OEM Azure Dynamics. Additionally, outside of the transportation space, he currently is Fleet Captain for the United States Naval Academy Offshore Sail Training Squadron and he served as Board of Directors Vice Chairman and Interim President at SafeKids Worldwide.

Tom Duterme

Advisor

Tom Duterme is an advisor to Locomation. Since 2014, Tom has been advising organizations on a full time basis at the founder/CEO/board level. He has worked with public institutions such as the Salk Institute and Toyota (leading to the formation of TRI) and has also collaborated with numerous private companies helping them navigate from company formation to exit.
Tom's experiences span entrepreneurship, corporate and business development, investments, sales and engineering. Earlier in his career, Tom worked at both Google and Groupon as an M&A and investment deal lead, acquiring numerous companies. At the start of his career, Tom lived in China for 7 years and helped launch two startups in Beijing, serving as CTO and head of sales respectively for each startup. Tom studied physics in undergrad and has an MBA from MIT Sloan.