PITTSBURGH, PA—Locomation, a leading provider of autonomous trucking technology solutions, today announced the hiring of industry veterans Michelle Chaka as Director of Safety Assurance and Standards and Ro Stoltzfoos as Director of Quality.
In her new role, Chaka will oversee Locomation’s comprehensive and evidence-based approach to safety assurance. In addition, she will lead the development and implementation of safety metrics, policies, standards and procedures to help ensure Locomation’s products meet all safety regulations and industry best practices.
Stoltzfoos will be responsible for overseeing the development of Locomation’s quality systems, risk management, process optimization, external-facing quality teams, and technical training. In addition, Stoltzfoos will ensure that quality is woven throughout the company’s processes and products to meet the highest standards.
“Together Michelle and Ro will add a new level of depth and experience to our operation as we develop our Autonomous Relay ConvoySM technology,” said Dr. Çetin Meriçli, Locomation’s CEO and co-founder. “With their leadership, we will continue our progress towards commercial deployment while prioritizing safety and quality in every aspect of our work.”
Locomation’s ARCSM system is a human-led convoy of two trucks that are electronically tethered. The Human-Guided AutonomySM solution enables one driver to operate the lead truck while a second driver rests in the follower truck. Periodically, the trucks swap places to allow each driver to take turns leading and resting in compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation Hours-of-Service regulations. Locomation will enable carriers to safely operate two trucks for 20-22 hours per day, delivering 2x the cargo, 2x farther, 2x faster.
“Safety and transparency are integral to Locomation’s culture and the ARCSM system will improve efficiency to address some of the most critical challenges facing the transportation of goods. This is an opportunity to have a positive impact on the global supply chain,” Chaka said. “I’m very pleased to be joining the team at this historic time.”
“Locomation’s human guided convoy system is the safest near-term way to get autonomous trucks running commercially at scale,” Stoltzfoos said. “I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”
About Michelle Chaka
Prior to Locomation, Chaka was Division Director at the Data and Analytics Division at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) specializing in collaboration with industry, academic, and government partners to translate large-scale data collections into robust and timely guidance and decisions. Her over 25 years of transportation safety experience at VTTI, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors have elevated her to the top of the field and benefited the safety community at large. Chaka was recently honored by being named as the recipient for the International 2021 J. Cordell Breed Award for Women Leaders by the SAE Women Engineers Committee. She is well versed in the areas of automated driving systems, crash avoidance, occupant protection, regulatory compliance, and safety assurance. She holds an M.S. in Automotive Engineering Technology from the University of Michigan and a B.S. from Michigan State University in Mechanical Engineering.
About Ro Stoltzfoos
Before coming to Locomation, Stoltzfoos was the Senior Supplier Quality Engineering Manager at Motional where she built the entire Supplier Quality Organization from ground zero. She had a similar role at Uber ATG and has spent more than 20 years in Quality, mostly in the automotive industry, including Tesla, Marquardt Switches, and ZF.
She has experience ranging from being an OEM or Tier 1 supplier and working with Tier 2 or Tier 3 suppliers, start-up, tech and non-tech. She is a certified lead auditor and a certified VDA 6.3 process auditor and trainer. She has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Kettering University along with co-op experience at General Motors and General Electric.
Locomation is re-engineering the world’s supply chain for autonomy with a portfolio of AV products and a suite of tools that enable our clients to implement an operating model for autonomous vehicles. Launched in 2018 by veterans of Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center, the Locomation team includes some of the world’s foremost experts in robotics technology, artificial intelligence, trucking, freight optimization, safety, and automotive.