Our Story

Locomation was founded in 2018 by a team of the world’s foremost experts on autonomous vehicles, robotics, and artificial intelligence from Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center and trucking industry leaders with deep knowledge and experience in every aspect of the trucking business.

We are motivated by the challenge of solving problems that have hindered the trucking industry for decades. Trucks transport more than 70% of the nation’s freight. E-commerce has sharply increased the need for freight trucking services. Demand is expected to grow 36% between 2020 and 2031.1 At a time when demand has never been stronger, persistent driver shortages create capacity constraints that force carriers to turn down orders.

Our Team

Few technical teams understand fully autonomous driving technology as well as we do. We’ve built autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence systems for dozens of applications. Our technical team is complemented by veteran of the trucking industry with deep knowledge of the industry’s challenges and connections to every major player in the trucking industry ecosystem.

Co-founder & CEO of locomation

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.
Co-founder & CTO of locomation

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.
Co-founder & VP of Engineering of locomation

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.
Co-founder & VP of Product of locomation

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).
Co-founder & Chief Scientist of locomation

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.
Business Operations Manager of locomation

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.
Hardware Principal

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


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.
Chief Commercial Officer of locomation

Glynn Spangenberg

Chief Commercial Officer

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``.
Glynn is also the principle architect of the nation's first successful FMCSA mirrorless truck regulatory exemption request, which was granted December 27, 2018.
VP of Business Development & Strategy of locomation

Tom Kroswek

VP of Business Development & Strategy

Tom Kroswek is a logistics and engineering professional with 30+ years of experience in supply chain engineering, transportation analysis, inbound manufacturing support and distribution/fulfillment operations. Throughout his career, Tom has immersed himself in data analytics, logistics engineering, supply chain analysis, project management, business development and operations management.
Tom has a unique blend of experience from engineering, operational and corporate environments to support from a strategic, tactical or operational perspective and can analyze data, identify opportunities to create optimizations and make recommendations for operational improvement which result in equipment, labor, sustainability and cost efficiencies. Tom has identified and developed use cases and created operational scenarios for new and emerging supply chain and logistics technologies.
Mr. Kroswek worked for over 27 years with Ryder Global Supply Chain Solutions in Supply Chain Excellence and Product Development, culminating in the role of Group Director of Product Development and Innovation. He was the lead inventor and co-awarded a patent for Ryder's Logistics Release, a proprietary process and technology to control material flow to line-side. Tom started his career in logistics and supply chain and worked 6 years in various roles with Frito- Lay, Inc.
Tom holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Wayne State University and a BBA from Saginaw Valley State University with a major in Accounting and minors in Finance, Economics and General Business.

Finch Fulton

VP of Policy and Strategy

Finch Fulton joined Locomation in February 2021. He previously served at the US Department of Transportation under Secretary Elaine Chao from 2017-2021, was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy and was the nominee to be Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy. There, he led the USDOT's efforts around the safe integration of transportation technologies into the US transportation system. This included the development of key policies and initiatives around automated vehicles, commercial space operations, data, machine learning and artificial intelligence efforts, hyperloop systems, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and more. He helped develop the President's UAS Integration Pilot Program and Automated Driving System Demonstration Grants, managed the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) Council and served on key transportation-related White House working groups.

He also served in the House of Representatives under Congressman Jim McCrery and Congressman John Fleming, M.D., in the Senate for Senator Jeff Sessions and in the private sector focused on the State and local integration of technology. He is a native of Mobile, Alabama, a graduate of the University of Alabama, received his MBA from Johns Hopkins University, and has been involved in trucking and logistics through his family's business his entire life.

James Murphy

VP of Government Affairs

James Murphy has been involved in the trucking sector for nearly two decades. He received his Class A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) at the age of 17 and still maintains it today. James also brings over a decade of government affairs experience gained from his time in the public and private sectors. He started his career on Capitol Hill as a staffer for the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) before taking on senior positions in the U.S. House of Representatives. In these roles, James contributed to many pieces of legislation and helped enact numerous laws.

After leaving the public sector, James worked as an in-house lobbyist for Motorola Solutions. James was responsible for advancing the company's priorities at the federal, state, and local level. It was also in this role that James was able to hone his skills as a government affairs professional, with an emphasis on federal funding and legislative policy. In 2018, James left Motorola Solutions and founded Daybreak Strategies, a D.C.-based government affairs firm.

Sean Rushton

Director of Communications

Sean has successfully led all aspects of public affairs including strategic planning, marketing, media relations, coalitions, advertising and digital campaigns, government relations, events, and publications.

Most recently, he was Communications Director at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, where he managed rollouts of major vehicle regulations, recalls, and policy announcements on Automated Driving Systems, Electric Vehicles, and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. He also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of International Affairs.

Earlier in his career, Rushton held communications posts in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and he has led communications at several advocacy organizations. In the private sector, he directed corporate communications handling media relations, events, and marketing communications.

Steve Kenner

VP of Safety

Steve Kenner is currently the Vice President of Safety for Locomation. In this role, Kenner is responsible for Locomation’s overall product and organizational safety.

Kenner has spent the last 6 years in leadership positions working on the safety of autonomous technologies at Aurora, Uber Advanced Technologies Group, and Apple’s Special Project Group. Prior to that, Kenner was the Global Director of the Automotive Safety Office at Ford Motor Company. Kenner has over three decades of experience in automotive engineering at Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors.

Kenner has served on the boards of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America and the Transportation Improvement Association of Michigan. Additionally, Steve was appointed to two terms on the Intelligent Transportation Systems Program Advisory Committee by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

Kenner holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Our Advisors

Our Advisors of locomation

Anne Bonaparte


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.
Our Advisors of locomation

John Formisano


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.
Our Advisors of locomation

Tom Duterme


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.
Our Advisors of locomation

Jennifer Cuccaro


Jennifer is a seasoned senior executive, investor, and ESG and sustainability expert.

She is currently the COO and Head of ESG Investing for Reformation Group, a leading regulatory capital and counterparty credit risk management advisory and co-investment firm. Since 2012, she has led the firm’s ESG investing and sustainability efforts across the firm’s asset management and insurance business lines. Jennifer serves as the firm’s ambassador on ESG with stakeholders and external organizations.

Jennifer enjoys advising emerging and mature companies on ESG strategies, policies, and frameworks. By combining deep sector experience in transportation, energy, infrastructure, and technology with ESG domain knowledge, she helps drive value creation.

Jennifer holds a B.S. in Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.