About Us

Why We are Passionate About

Virtual Traffic Lights

REDUCING PEOPLE’S COMMUTE TIME: A DREAM WORTH PURSUING

We are doing this to give people more time to enjoy a fuller and richer life without the current frustrations that come with traffic congestion. Time is the most valuable currency we have as human beings. The travel times and the corresponding frustration are exacerbated during rush hour commutes and in some big cities time wasted on the roads could easily exceed 15 hours per week. Reducing this wasted time and the frustration that comes with it is the precise reason WHY we are doing this.

OUR MISSION

Our mission is to mitigate commute time of people and reduce the time wasted on the road every day so that people can have more time to enjoy a fuller, richer, and healthier life style and be more productive---in every municipality, every city, and every country around the globe.

OUR VISION

The vision of Virtual Traffic Lights, LLC is to substantially improve traffic efficiency and safety by using communications-based traffic control whereby vehicles communicate with each other and infrastructure.



TEAM MEMBERS

We have a leadership team with renowned research and business expertise. We value enthusiasm for our mission and vision.


Ozan Tonguz ("Ozan")

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer


Ozan leads the technical and business strategy for VTL. He brings 31 years of research experience in vehicular networks, wireless communications and networks, and optical communications and networks. Key areas of his expertise are vehicular networks, autonomous driving, sensor networks, computer networks, wireless networks and communications systems, ad hoc wireless networks, self-organizing networks. He also has extensive knowledge and interest in smart grid, Internet of Things, optical communications and networks, bioinformatics, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and security.
He is an inventor on 15 patents (12 US patents and 3 international patents) in the areas of traffic efficiency, traffic safety, connected vehicles, and autonomous driving. He is a tenured Full Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) http://www.ece.cmu.edu/~tonguz/.

Vijayakumar Bhagavatula ("Kumar")

Co-founder


Kumar helps the efforts of the company in new business development as well as the new technology development using his background in computer vision and machine learning. Kumar brings key technical expertise in Signal Processing, Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition. Prof. Kumar has applied his expertise in computer vision and pattern recognition in the areas of biometric recognition and autonomous driving. He is also a co-inventor of 12 patents. Prof. Kumar received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh. He is currently the U.A. & Helen Whitaker Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Director, Carnegie Mellon University Africa. Prior to this, he served in multiple leadership roles at CMU including the Associate Dean of Graduate and Faculty Affairs and the Interim Dean of the College of Engineering, the Interim Vice Provost for Research at CMU.

Khaled Al-Ghoneim ("Khaled")

Co-founder


Khaled is currently in charge of the new business development of the company.
Dr. Khaled Bin Abdulaziz Al-Ghoneim received his Ph.D. from Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Carnegie Mellon University. He is the founder and CEO of Hawaz, a company that focuses on PPP and analytics. Prior to Hawaz, Dr. Khaled was the Chairman and CEO of TakamoL Holding Co., an organization that was established by the Ministry of Labor (KSA) in 2013, to support the MoL+ entities (HRDF, TVTC, GOSI) in realizing their objectives in partnership with the private sector. He also held a wide range of leadership positions in the areas of Information Technology, including the Group CEO of Saudi Telecom Company (STC). He was also the CEO of Elm Information Security from 2002 till 2012, where he was able to cultivate the organization into exceptional growth rates, launching it from a small cost center to a large profit making entity.

Inci Ozgunes ("Inci")

Co-founder


Inci oversees the company's operation. Part of her company responsibilities include leading the company's financial, human resources, and administrative operations.
She received her Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and her Ph.D. from Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University in 1995. Dr. Ozgunes has worked in the areas of Wireless Telecommunications and Data Storage Systems. Her research expertise include signal processing as well as stochastic signal processing and machine learning. Dr. Ozgunes has academic as well as industrial experience. As the mother of three, Dr. Ozgunes has extensive experience in city driving and she is dreaming of a day when she can save significant time with the help of the intelligent traffic lights VTL is working to create.

ASSETS

As a company, Virtual Traffic Lights, LLC, has several important
assets that distinguish it from other early-stage startups. These can
be summarized as follows:

  • Including the leadership team, VTL currently has 20 team members.
  • Very Strong IP portfolio.
  • Efforts for pilot projects in several countries.
  • An ongoing funded VTL Pilot project.
  • Institutional investment as Series-A funding
  • Company builds on research conducted at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).
  • CMU is a minority stakeholder in Virtual Traffic Lights, LLC.