Gina O’Connell recently headed the Comet Mobility Automated Vehicle Experience at CES 2019 in collaboration with IBM Watson IoT, Via Transportation, and the UK Department of International Trade; this experience offered attendees autonomous shuttle rides directed by voice command, a first at CES. Currently Gina is the Accessibility Strategy & Partnership lead on the Michigan Mobility Challenge autonomous vehicle pilot at Battle Creek Veterans Administration Medical Center; this pilot is funded through a $2.1MM MDOT grant promoting use of technology and innovation to address core mobility gaps for seniors, persons with disabilities, and veterans.
As Director of Labs for Local Motors, Gina founded the #AccessibleOlli program with IBM Corporation and the Consumer Technology Association Foundation to create “the world’s most accessible cognitive self-driving vehicle” which debuted at CES 2018 and won the Best Auto Mobility Product/Service Award at the TU Automotive Conference in Detroit in addition to being installed in the Smithsonian Design Museum’s The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility 2019 exhibition. From 2017-2018 she led the #AccessibleOlli IBM AI XPRIZE team which was one of 62 teams remaining from a field of 10,000 entries; she also headed the team that won the SXSW 2015 Interactive Innovation Best of Show Award for Strati, The World’s First 3D Printed Car as well as leading the 2016 Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge.
Gina has served on the Nevada Governor’s Manufacturing Sector Council, the UNLV Technology Assessment Committee, the executive board of FIRST Robotics Nevada, and the Consumer Technology Association’s Self-Driving Vehicles and AI Working Groups. Gina has formerly held leadership positions at the Japanese Consulate of New York, Fitch Ratings, Yellowstone National Park and Caesars Entertainment.