Zhao Lu – ”I was always impressed with the high standard, coding quality and creativity of the Romanian developers”

14 May 2018 devTalks

We want to know more about the people that speak in front of one of the most important and in progress community in Romania at this moment.

These being said, we present you a short interview with Zhao Lu – CTO @BestMile.

1. Where do you see the future of automotive industry?

Vehicle manufacturers have long been profiting not sales of vehicles but maintenance and insurances associated with post-sales.  There is an emerging trend that they are becoming service-oriented and in some cases operators rather than pure producers of physical vehicles.  Some leading manufacturers are already and providing car-share and ride-share services.  Some others are exploring and trying to understand what it entails to provide real world transportation operation without much in-house expertise.  I believe the division of producer and operator will blur; the collaboration deepen; and in some cases competitions rise.

2. Now you are leading the R&D effort of fleet management system for heterogenous autonomous vehicles. How can you describe this experience?

This experience has been both challenging and exhilarating.  Many are focused on how to safely move a single vehicle on the road right now.  But at Bestmile, we need to focus on enabling operator to provide safe and secure services at scale.  Moving a single vehicle is a pre-condition but not the eventual goal and our true focus.  The gradual phasing out of drivers and on-board conductors means a new generation of requirements to passenger safety and operational security.  New elements are introduced into operating software and new breed of software are emerging to control ‘robotaxi’ for field operations emergencies, maintenances, and repairs.  These vehicles will transport people and goods in a new type of urban environments with different road infrastructures for better transportation efficiency to realize the eventual goal of bettering human life.

3. Do you have a message for the Romanian IT community?

I have started my working relationship in the early 2000s when I was working at IBM on storage systems (DS8000/6000).  We collaborated closely with a remote team in Romania on TotalStorage Productivity Control Center, which enables system administrators to perform capacity planning, data migration, and disaster recovery, among many other things for large scale storage solutions.  I was always impressed with the high standard, coding quality and creativity of the Romanian developers I worked with.  I learned a lot from them. In the future, I would like to see more collaboration, especially in the new generation of demand-based transportation services, in the context of autonomous vehicles.