By Jacqueline Keidel
Local Motors Co-founder and CEO Jay Rogers took the stage this week at the LA Auto Show’s press and trade event, dubbed Automobility LA, but his route to stage was far from typical. He was delivered to the front of the conference pavilion by Local Motors’ self-driving electric shuttle, Olli. Jay gave a keynote to members of the media and vehicle technology leaders titled “Crowd-powered mobility: How advanced manufacturing and open innovation are bringing about a vehicle revolution.” In his keynote, Jay explored why the world is still making vehicles the same way it did more than 100 years ago, despite the rapid advances in manufacturing technology. Jay explained to the crowd the antithesis to Henry Ford’s assembly line: additive manufacturing coupled with the innovative capacity of co-creation. In a demand for progress from the vehicle industry, Jay described a new way of looking at vehicle design and creation — not in five-to-seven-year intervals, and not with simply slight modifications to looks. Jay called for rapid improvements to vehicle safety, sustainability and intelligence. “I want to see change. Real vehicle change. That’s what moves the needle for me. I’m tired of the traditional vehicle manufacturer’s answer to change,” Rogers told the crowd. “We have to change the way we make things in order to be able to do something about these problems [accidents, pollution, traffic]. I find that we share an obligation to be great. We need to make a difference, and we need to do it for future generations.” Automobility LA live-streamed Jay’s keynote, and you can watch for yourself at www.facebook.com/automobilityla/videos/1280793578649983.
Using Olli as a quiet and comfortable meeting space, Jay also sat for several interviews throughout the day with publications like The Wall Street Journal and Forbes, sharing the Local Motors story and his vision for the future of vehicle design and manufacturing. Automobility LA took over the Los Angeles Convention Center from Nov. 14-17 to get media and “anyone with their sights set on the new mobility movement” excited for upcoming week. Automobility LA focuses on the intersection of vehicles and technology and is billed as a single event for the new automotive ecosystem. The convention center’s Technology Pavilion housed tech and vehicle innovations from global leaders and up-and-comers alike. Local Motors’ Olli sat in front of the pavilion’s entrance, greeting curious attendees. Other speakers at Automobility LA included: Arwed Niestroj, CEO of Mercedes-Benz NA R&D, Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel and Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop One.