Our mission is to move the trucking industry toward a safer, faster, and greener driverless future.

Our Journey

It’s been well over 25 years since Carnegie Mellon’s iconic 3000-mile autonomous cross-country drive, and over a decade since Carnegie Mellon’s historical victory in the DARPA Urban Challenge. Yet, the reality of self-driving cars remains out of reach.

We believe in an alternate, more level-headed incremental approach in reaching the fully autonomous future of ground transportation, and we have the experience, expertise, and the best talent to achieve it. With roots in Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center and over 100 years of collective autonomy and robotics experience, our founding team has deployed more than 50 AV systems. We’ve seen it all and we have the type of expertise only decades of trial-and-error can teach.

We are bringing the future of fully autonomous vehicles to today. One step at a time.

Our Team

Dr. Çetin Meriçli

CEO

Dr. 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

CTO

Dr. 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. Dr. Meriçli has over 15 years of engineering experience 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

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.

Venkat Rajagopalan

VP of Product

Venkataramanan Rajagopalan is a co-founder, director, 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

Chief Scientist

Alonzo Kelly is a co-founder, director, and the Chief Scientist of Locomation. Professor Kelly started his career as an engineering manager for the Space Shuttle 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), where he joined the technical staff at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and has collaborated with JPL on 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 the basis for CMU winning the DARPA Urban Challenge 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 the decades of teaching mobile robots at CMU while also executing close to 100 robotics R&D programs, 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.