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Self-driving Panel Discussion: The 'New Safe' in Self-driving

  • Cambridge Innovation Center 101 Main Street, 14th Floor Cambridge (map)

Self-driving: Redefining what safe driving means and what’s needed next

Collaborative Partner:
The German-American Business Council of Boston

We are happy to announce our speakers:

Karl Iagnemma, CEO of nuTonomyan MIT-self-driving spinout recently acquired for $400 million; Former director of the Robotic Mobility Group at MIT, Karl's research resulted in more than 150 technical publications, 50 issued or filed patents, and numerous edited volumes, including books on the DARPA Grand Challenge and Urban Challenge autonomous vehicle competitions. Karl was named one of 2017’s “Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs” by Goldman Sachs and designated a member of the 2017 “Recode 100” list of technology influencers.

Heidi Wyle, CEO of Venti Technologiesinternationally acclaimed biotech executive and past President of Massachusetts Women's Forum, who transitioned to leading a self-driving startup focused on safety and the US-China opportunity. Dr. Wyle speaks internationally and is a contributor to United States and Canadian media. Dr. Wyle holds a B.S. in physics with a concentration in literature from Brown University, including study at Imperial College in London, Masters and Ph.D. degrees in medical physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School where she was a Baker Scholar.

Alex Wyglinski, President of IEEE VehicularPresident of IEEE Vehicular Technologies; Internationally recognized as an expert in the field of wireless communications, connected vehicles, vehicular technology, wireless system optimization and adaptation, autonomous vehicles. Dr. Wyglinski is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a Professor of Robotics Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA, USA, as well as the Director of the Wireless Innovation Laboratory (WI Lab).

Bryan Reimer, Ph.D., Research Scientist in the MIT AgeLab and the Associate Director of The New England University Transportation Center. His research seeks to develop theoretical and applied insight into driver behavior by fusing together traditional psychological methods with big data analytics in computer vision, deep learning, and predictive modeling. He collaborates with industries worldwide on the topics of driver safety, vehicle automation and other human factors related technological concerns. Dr. Reimer has been honored with an inaugural 2018 Autos2050 Impact Award for his innovative contributions to the automotive industry. He is an author on over 200 technical contributions in transportation and related human factors areas.

Pär-Olof Johannesson, CEO at TerraNet Holding AB and a seasoned industry executive with more than 15 years in the wireless space. Previous roles includes Venture Partner at Mankato Investments, Business Unit Director at Flextronics GSM Division, Area Sales Manager at ABB China and South East Asia, Project Manager at Ericsson Radio Systems, Beijing, Commissioned Swedish Foreign Service Officer. Based in Lund, Sweden, TerraNet AB offers V2X communications, cooperative positioning, and cooperative maneuvering technologies that work when offline.

Discussion moderated by: 

Christina Björnström, President and Executive Director, Swedish American Chamber of Commerce New England,  SVP Marketing at TerraNet Holding AB. Christina is also an active member of the Boston startup community, having cofounded 2 tech startups, and has previously worked as an investigative journalist and MBA admissions consultant. Educated at Harvard University and the University of Essex in sustainable development, human rights and politics, Christina is motivated by matters of social justice, equality, and empowerment through technology and education.

While the topic of self-driving continues to dominate headlines and leading car manufacturers to invest heavily in a bid to become the first major provider, the path from investment to wide scale implementation remains nebulous. At the core, we’re still concerned about what self-driving actually entails, as questions concerning safety, mobility, and autonomy arise.

For self-driving to be actualized, several factors need to be taken into consideration, beginning with connectivity and reliability. As 5G spreads, questions surrounding how to account for blips in connectivity inevitably come up. Can currently available technologies really anticipate hazards ahead, from both small to big? If so, how do we create systems by which self-driving cars will know how and what choices to make? What does a safe self-driving experience in the next 10 years realistically look like? Underpinning these are also ethical considerations one can’t ignore in the conversation.

The Swedish American Chamber of Commerce New England therefore invites you to a lively panel discussion comprised of diverse industry and thought leaders in autonomous vehicles. We will learn from them the most cutting edge developments in self-driving, the important points we need to understand to form educated opinions on the topic ourselves, and our role as both observers and future passengers.

The event will be held on the 14th floor of CIC Cambridge's 101 Main St location.


CIC is located on multiple floors at One Broadway, as well as on the 14th and 15th floors at 101 Main. Both buildings are very close to the Cambridge Marriott Hotel and the Kendall Square MBTA subway station. The main reception for CIC, including C3, is on the 14th floor at One Broadway and also on the 14th floor at 101 Main.

By ‘T’ 
Take the Red Line to the Kendall Square/MIT stop. Exit the T and turn until you are facing the Longfellow Bridge. Walk toward the bridge and look to your left. One Broadway is the tall, gray cement building with vertical windows. Our main reception is on the 14th floor. 101 Main is a little closer to the bridge; it is a large red brick building. Reception is on the 14th floor.


Visitor parking is also available at the Kendall St garage and at the Marriott Hotel garage.

Get your TICKETS in advance, as it will not be possible to do so at the door!

Earlier Event: February 21
After Work 'Mingel'