Dr. Nikhil Naikal is Vice President of Software Engineering at Velodyne Lidar, where his team is responsible for the development of software products. He joined the company through its acquisition of Mapper.ai, where he was the founding CEO. At Mapper.ai, Nikhil recruited a skilled team of scientists, engineers and designers inspired to build the next generation of high-precision machine maps that are crucial for the success of self-driving vehicles.
Nikhil developed his passion for self-driving technology while working with Carnegie Mellon University’s Tartan Racing team that won the DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007. He honed his expertise in high precision navigation while working at Robert Bosch research and subsequently Flyby Media, which was acquired by Apple in 2015.
Nikhil holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from UC Berkeley,and a master’s degree in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University.