AVS2017 Register Agenda Speakers


Keynote Speakers

Xavier Mosquet is a Senior Partner with Boston Consulting Group and Managing Director of the firm’s Detroit office, which he opened in 2005. He served as the Global Leader of BCG's Automotive Practice for 8 years.

In 2009, Xavier led a team of BCG consultants that advised President Obama’s Task Force and the US Treasury on the Automotive Industry, the restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler, and the establishment of the Chrysler-Fiat alliance. BCG was the sole management consulting firm on the engagement, working for the U.S Treasury Department. Xavier also advised the US Treasury and the Canadian Government on the GM IPO in November 2010. Xavier brings more than 20 years of global experience to his work. His clients include leading companies in mature markets as well as new players from rapidly developing economies.

He has written several reports on the automotive industry, including on Autonomous Vehicles and the future of transportation, Innovation in Automotive and on Electric Cars, contributed to the US Department of Energy 2050 strategy, and co-authored a report on Green Jobs for the US Economy. In February 2016 he was asked to testify in front of Congress on the future of Automotive.

Mr. Serna leads strategic initiatives at Draper, an effort to identify new and emerging challenges for Draper capabilities in applied R&D and technology transfer. Examples include innovative solutions to the challenge of Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) in the National Air Space (NAS) and highly automated vehicles in ground transportation.

Previously he was Director of Systems Engineering at Draper. He is a Board member and past President of the New England Chapter of Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).

He is a board member of the Northeast Unmanned Air Systems Research Alliance (NUAIR), the FAA-approved entity that manages the New York/Massachusetts Unmanned Air Systems test sites. He serves on the National Academies Panel on Ballistics Science and Engineering and is Chair of the Systems Engineering division of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA). He has served on four panels of the Defense Science Board (DSB). Mr. Serna holds degrees from Yale University and Northeastern University.

Robin Chase is is a transportation entrepreneur. She is co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the largest car sharing company in the world; as well as co-founder and board member of Veniam, a vehicle communications company building the networking fabric for the Internet of Moving Things. Her recent book is Peers Inc: How People and Platforms are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism. Her current passion is working with cities to maximize the transformation possible with the introduction of self driving cars.

She sits on the Boards of Veniam, the World Resources Institute, and Tucows, and serves as an advisor to the French National Digital Agency and the USDOT’s Advisory Committee on Automated Transportation. She also served on the board of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the National Advisory Council for Innovation & Entrepreneurship for the US Department of Commerce, the Intelligent Transportations Systems Program Advisory Committee for the US Department of Transportation, the OECD’s International Transport Forum Advisory Board, the Massachusetts Governor’s Transportation Transition Working Group, and Boston Mayor’s Wireless Task Force.

Robin lectures widely, has been frequently featured in the major media, and has received many awards in the areas of innovation, design, and environment, including Time 100 Most Influential People, Fast Company Fast 50 Innovators, and BusinessWeek Top 10 Designers. Robin graduated from Wellesley College and MIT's Sloan School of Management, was a Harvard University Loeb Fellow, and received an honorary Doctorate of Design from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

"Self driving cars offer cities the ability to reinvent their physical form. If we choose to adopt Fleets of Autonomous Vehicles that are Electric and Shared (FAVES), we have the ability to eliminate congestion, make it possible to travel quickly and safely from A to B for the price of a bus ticket, improve the quality of our air, make a significant dent in reducing CO2 emissions, and transform the livability of cities. But this will only be possible with proactive regulation that takes into account what we have learned over the last century of car use. Cities want to provide a safe, healthy, and accessible transportation network, as well as make the most efficient use of its streets. This means penalizing driving alone (or empty) during congested times with a dirty engine, and encouraging more occupancy with zero emission vehicles."

Jane Lappin is Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs for Toyota Research Institute (TRI). TRI was created in January as an independent subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, charged with using artificial intelligence to develop automated vehicles, assistive indoor robotics, and materials discovery. Ms. Lappin's responsibilities include working with elected and appointed officials, state and local transportation authorities, and the transportation community to address shared policy issues related to the future of highly automated vehicles.

Prior to joining TRI, Ms. Lappin worked for the USDOT at the Volpe Center, where her research focused on consumer response to advanced vehicle technologies, and evaluating the impact of advanced technologies on traveler behavior. At the USDOT, Ms. Lappin was Secretariat to the trilateral US-EU-Japan ITS Steering Group and co-chair of its Automation in Road Transportation Working Group.

She is co-founder of the Automated Vehicles Symposium, chair of the Transportation Research Board ITS Committee, and a founding member and past president of the ITS International Benefits, Evaluation, and Costs Working Group. Ms. Lappin studied sociology as an undergraduate at Boston University and earned an MBA from the Simmons College Graduate School of Management.

"TRI's mission is to use artificial intelligence to improve the quality of human life. We are dedicated to making automobiles safer, more affordable, and more accessible to everyone, regardless of age or ability, and to expanding the benefit of mobility technology beyond automobiles, for example to in-home support of older persons and those with special needs."

"We must work together with other innovators, regulators, and the public, to develop reliable automated vehicles that operate predictably and safely alongside pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboards, and other motor vehicles."

Karl Iagnemma

Karl Iagnemma is CEO of nuTonomy, the leading developer of state-of-the-art software for self-driving cars, which he co-founded in 2013. As CEO, Karl has established nuTonomy's US and Singapore offices, spearheaded nuTonomy's fundraising efforts, and led the recruitment of a world-class technical team. nuTonomy is the lead platform currently involved in the World Economic Forum & BCG coordinated testing in Boston's Seaport District.

Karl was previously a Principal Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he directed the Institute’s Robotic Mobility Group. His research has resulted in more than 150 technical papers and 19 issued or filed patents, and has found application in passenger vehicle safety systems, robotic surgery, and Mars surface exploration, among other domains. His technical work has been cited nearly 7,000 times in the robotics and automotive research literature. He is author of Mobile Robots in Rough Terrain: Estimation, Planning and Control with Application to Planetary Rovers and co-editor of volumes on the DARPA Grand Challenge and Urban Challenge autonomous vehicle races.

Karl holds a BS degree from the University of Michigan, where he graduated first in his class, and MS and PhD degrees from MIT, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. He has performed postdoctoral research at MIT, and been a visiting researcher at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the National Technical University of Athens (Greece).
Karl is the author of the 2007 fiction novel, The Expeditions, and a collection of short stories, On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction. His short story by the same name won the Paris Review Discovery Prize in 2000. He is the recipient of numerous major awards including those from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Waseem Naqvi

Dr. Waseem Naqvi is President of the Association for Unmanned Systems International (AUVSI) New England Chapter. AUVSI New England (a non-profit organization) advocate, and educate on unmanned and robotic systems, hold many networking forums and events on behave of its members. Waseem is also a member of the Board for the AUVSI, and the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR), and serves on the advisory board for the Massachusetts Robotics Sector.

Waseem is Director for Technology for Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS) Transportation business. In this position he is responsible for defining capability and technology roadmaps addressing future Intelligent Transportation System needs. Raytheon pioneered All Electronic Tolling Systems, and has developed many sensors, V2V/V2I Communications (e.g. pedestrian safety) solutions and management systems.

Intelligent Transportation Systems such as connected and autonomous vehicles, advanced traffic management systems and highway tolling are converging to ease congestion between cities over optimized integrated corridors” - Dr. Waseem Naqvi, President, AUVSI New England, and Raytheon

Kate Fichter is the Assistant Secretary for Policy Coordination at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, where she has served in various capacities since 2004. Kate is a graduate of the University of Chicago and MIT, and has professional expertise in transportation planning and policy. Prior to her current role, Kate served as the Project Manager for the extension of the MBTA Green Line to Somerville and Medford (2007-2010) and the expansion of Boston South Station (2012-2014).

She has also worked for the US Department of Transportation at the Volpe Center, and for the Massachusetts Legislature, where she worked on transportation-related issues.
Kate is now responsible for overseeing multiple policy initiatives, and insuring that MassDOT policy priorities are implemented through investments and projects.

Gina Fiandaca was appointed Commissioner of the City of Boston Transportation Department (BTD) in January of 2015 by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. In this role, Gina oversees a staff of more than 400 who work together to ensure safe and efficient access on Boston’s street system for all users of the city’s 850 miles of roadway. This is accomplished through a combination of transportation planning, engineering, management, operations and enforcement efforts.

In early 2015, Gina guided the successful launch of “ParkBoston”, the city’s first mobile phone app that allows drivers to pay for on-street metered parking, receive alerts before meters expire, and extend time at parking meters remotely. This award winning app was named “Best of Boston” by Beta Boston in 2015.

In 2016, Gina lead the implementation of “smart meter technology”in the City of Boston. As a result, all 8000+ metered parking spaces in the City of Boston were engineered to accept credit cards as well as coins and provide a rich data source to inform transportation management. She also spearheaded a partnership with TicketZen that provides for easy parking ticket payments by cell phone. Boston drivers may now use their smart phone cameras to scan a barcode on the city’s parking tickets that connects the user’s payment details with the city’s payment network.

Dr. Eric Balles joined Draper in 2011 to launch and build a commercial business focused on solving the most difficult issues facing the transportation and energy sectors. He has overall responsibility for these commercial areas at Draper including strategic planning, customer relationship, business development, project execution and financial performance.

Dr. Balles’ career spans several industry sectors including automotive, electricity and oil & gas. He started his career in the automotive industry and has worked extensively with automakers and tier one suppliers in North America, Europe and Asia. Dr. Balles earned S.B., S.M. and Sc.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Jonathan Koopmann is a senior engineer in the Technology, Innovation and Policy division at the Volpe Center. He serves as the Volpe Center Project Manager of the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office’s (ITS-JPO) automated vehicle research program.

Prior to managing the automation vehicle research program Jonathan led a development team creating an aviation environmental modeling software tool for the Federal Aviation Administration and several projects investigating the capability, user acceptance, and safety effectiveness of prototype advance warning safety systems for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Before coming to Volpe in 2000, Jonathan worked for the Volvo Truck Corporation in Goteborg, Sweden. He has a M.S. in Transportation Engineering from Northeastern University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University.

Mary Skelton Roberts is a senior program officer for Climate focusing on how people move around and how we build our communities—two critical levers for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Her grantmaking aims to maintain and modernize our transit systems and to help communities transform themselves into more walkable, connected places where all residents have attractive alternatives to driving and spend far less time and money traveling by car.

Prior to joining the Barr Foundation in April 2009, Mary was a consultant specializing in problem solving and dispute resolution of complex corporate, environmental, and public-policy issues. She has worked extensively with nonprofit, government, and private-sector clients in the United States and internationally. She currently serves on the national boards of Hispanics in Philanthropy and the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities.

In Boston she volunteers her time with organizations focused on preventing child homelessness, improving animal welfare, and supporting cultural enrichment for Latino children.
Mary holds a master’s degree in city planning with concentrations in consensus building and environmental policy and planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also holds mediation and facilitation accreditations from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and from the Center for Dispute Resolution in London, England, where she served as lead faculty. She is bilingual, bi-cultural, and a native Spanish-speaker. During her spare time Mary delights in mothering her rambunctious eleven-year old, preventing her dog, Scooter, from catching the squirrels at the Arnold Arboretum, and, when she’s feeling really adventurous, practicing her salsa moves.

Jed Nosal is Counsel in Brown Rudnick’s Energy Utilities and Environmental Group in the Boston office where he provides licensing, regulatory, compliance and investigative counsel to a diverse set of clients in multiple business sectors.

Jed served with distinction over a sixteen year career in government including senior level regulatory, policy, investigative and litigation experience across a wide spectrum of practice areas. Prior to joining Brown Rudnick, Jed was the Chief of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office Business and Labor Bureau and prior to joining the Office of the Attorney General, Jed was the General Counsel of the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy. Jed has held other positions in state and municipal government including Deputy Legal Counsel to Governor Jane Swift and staff counsel to both the State and Boston Police Departments.


Kris Carter, Co-Chair of the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics in Boston, is a non-practicing engineer, an optimistic urban planner, and a self-taught filmmaker. New Urban Mechanics is the City of Boston's human-design centered civic innovation team, working collaboratively with research institutions, civic entrepreneurs, and government agencies to explore and prototype what's new and next in cities.

With the Mechanics, Kris has helped lead the City's overhaul of parking technology, vision zero efforts, award-winning Public Space Invitational, and autonomous vehicle research efforts. Prior to leading the Mechanics, Kris managed the City's bicycle program, served as an advisor to Mayor on the creation of the Boston Innovation District, and helped operationalize One Fund Boston in response to the Marathon bombings.

He is an AmeriCorps alum and has yet to find a job more difficult job than raising twins.

In June of 2016, Boston was selected by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a focus-city for policy and pilot development of autonomous vehicles. Through this partnership, New Urban Mechanics will work with the WEF, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), international cities, and mobility industry leaders. We plan to develop policy goals and autonomous vehicle testing scenarios for Boston.

Ryan Harrington serves as a Principal within the Vehicle Engineering Practice at Exponent, an engineering and scientific consulting firm, and is based out of Natick, MA. Mr. Harrington’s 17 year career, working in the automotive industry and the federal government, has been focused on improving the safety, mobility, and energy efficiency of the nation’s transportation system. This unique private and public sector background has allowed him to analyze and develop innovative solutions to complex technical, policy and regulatory issues including fuel economy and emissions rule-makings and motor vehicle safety standards.

Having worked directly on the development of automotive technologies and federal regulations, Mr. Harrington is able to facilitate collaboration between industry executives, senior government officials, and engineers related to the deployment of emerging automotive technologies, including automated vehicles and fuel saving technologies.


Bobbie D. Seppelt, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab, New England University Transportation Center, and at Touchstone Evaluations, Inc. She has over 15 years of experience in assessment and analysis of driver behavior in the context of vehicle automation, attention management, and distraction.

She is a technical lead on two academic-industry partnerships: the Advanced Human Factors Evaluator for Attentional Demand (AHEAD) consortium, which is engaged in developing next generation driver attention measurement tools, and the Advanced Vehicle Technology (AVT) consortium, focused on developing an understanding of driver use of emerging vehicle technologies including production-level automated driving systems. She is co-chair on the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)’s committee on Automated Vehicles and Driver-Vehicle Interface Challenges, and an invited expert on the Trilateral (US–EU–Japan) Human Factors of Vehicle Automation Working Group.

Her research interests include driver-vehicle interface design, operator trust and reliance on automation, and automated driving systems integration.

She received her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering in 2009 from the University of Iowa and her M.S. in Engineering Psychology in 2003 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She's been a member of AUVSI since 2013.

Christopher Tassone leads the Shared Services & Consulting Team at Liberty Mutual and manages the company’s autonomous vehicles partnership strategy. His group works with automakers, transportation disruptors, and governments to understand customer demand and minimize risk while bringing new mobility products to market. He has extensive experience helping established companies compete in new markets using scenario planning and a customer-centric product design process. Previously, Chris worked on State Farm’s Innovation Team and in Marketing at Zipcar.

Chris has degrees in Philosophy and Accounting with passions for innovation process, effective altruism, and kayaking.


Sasha Hoffmann

Sasha Hoffman is the Chief Operating Officer of Piaggio Fast Forward where she is responsible for overseeing business development, marketing, HR, finance and operations. She manages a team of 35 redefining the future of lightweight mobility. She is also the Co-Founder of Fuzzy Compass, a travel startup turning the world's top travel bloggers and influencers into modern-day travel consultants.

Prior to this, she was Head of Business Development for Plastiq, a venture-backed payments startup. As one of the first hires, she was responsible for many aspects of the business but primarily growing the company from 2-27 employees, setting the strategy for entering new industries and geographies, building and maintaining all partner relationships and growing the company to over $150mm in payments volume in under 2 years. Prior to that, she worked as an investment banker in the technology group at Goldman Sachs, Barclays Capital and Lehman Brothers. She worked on transactions worth more than $100 billion including several high-profile IPOs and M&A deals for such clients as Facebook, Yelp, and SanDisk.


Chris Bassette Chris Bessette has a B.S. and an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. Early in his career, he developed navigation filters for various military and space applications.
After that, Chris served as the Program Manager for Draper’s Airdrop programs, overseeing programs in guided and unguided Airdrop, as well development of tools to aid personnel jumpers in achieving their drop zones.
Currently Chris serves as the PM for Draper’s support of various Automotive OEMs and Tier 1’s.






Alison SanderAlison Sander has served as the Director of BCG’s Center for Sensing & Mining the Future since 2005 and brings more than 20 years’ experience working with senior teams on complex global challenges. Alison has designed significant growth strategies for CEOs and Boards of Directors across many sectors and has used Megatrends to help clients form long term visions and to find the next billion dollars of growth. Alison joined BCG in 1997 serving as Globalization Topic Advisor—a job that allowed her to see shifts across many countries.
Alison has an MBA from Harvard Business School, a JD from Harvard Law School, and a BA in political science with high honors from the University of Chicago. Alison is a member of the Asia Society, the Council on Foreign Relations (, the Association of Professional Futurists, a former overseer at the Museum of Science (, and a former Board Member of WRI ( a leading global environmental think tank. Alison is the founder of AltWheels ( an award winning non-profit focused on bringing smarter transportation solutions to New England. Alison has worked in or traveled to more than 91 countries. Alison is a noted speaker on future trends and brings creative and innovative perspectives to many senior Boards and executive teams.


Timothy J. Connelly is the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, or
MassTech. Tim is an experienced leader with distinguished career in financial services, as well as a
passion for civic engagement, social impact, workforce development, and regional economic growth.
Tim was most recently employed at Brown Brothers Harriman, where he spent 30 years working as a
managing director, and as a General Partner. At Brown Brothers Harriman, he led service delivery
enterprise, innovation and product support, and investor services units. He retired from the firm in
December, 2014.
He currently serves on the technology advisory board of BDO Consulting. He is a member of the board of directors of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, and chaired the United Way’s 2014-2015 development campaign. Connelly is a member of the board of trustees of the Carroll School and New England Disabled Sports, a Corporator of Northeastern University, and he serves on the finance and investment committee at the Cotting School.


Dan McNichol Dan McNichol is a number one best selling author and an award winning journalist. His latest New York Times piece, a collaboration with Pulitzer Prize winning colunmist Jim Stewart, was a front page - above the fold - sensation taunting President Trump to inspire America with a great public works program.
Dan recently spent a couple of years driving 20,000 miles while circumnavigating the United States of America in a 1949 Hudson that VERY much requires a driver. He used the low-rider while advocating for the rebuilding of the nation’s infrastructure with the tag: "America’s Infrastructure is as old - rusty - and energy defunct as my 1949 lead-sled."
Dan is currently a consultant with Alta Vista Solutions working in Sacramento, CA on the nation’s largest infrastructure project - California’s High-Speed Rail Program, a $64 billion endeavor to deliver the nation’s fist high-speed train scheduled to run between LA and San Francisco.



Jim Sproul

James Sproul is AUVSI-New England’s Autonomous Vehicle Summit 2017 Program Chair and CRO of The Sproul Company headquartered in Boston’s North End.
As Founder of The Sproul Company (TSC) in 1999, Jim has a rich history of Rainmaking for engineering companies by networking, identifying and closing new business opportunities.
An active volunteer & member of AUVSI-New England, Sproul is the 2017 Autonomous Vehicle Summit Program Chair and prior to this was AUVSI-New England’s Robotica 2016 Session & Speaker Chair. For this event, Jim spearheaded the efforts to bring over 90 recognized industry leaders to speak during 27 sessions over a three-day conference. See for a complete work & volunteer history.

A dual resident of the North End and Cape Cod and graduate of the University of Connecticut, Jim enjoys family life with his wife Molly, three children and five grandchildren.



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