Appointments

Smart Eye strengthens automotive team with three key hires

13th September 2022
Paige West

Smart Eye announced three new key hires to its automotive team: Kenji Nakamura as Country Manager of Japan, Dr. Halina Niemiec as Senior Director of Product Management and Christian Schnell as Vice President of Quality.

The addition of these seasoned industry veterans reflects Smart Eye’s drive to develop best-in-class, AI-based automotive interior sensing solutions, at a time when the company is experiencing significant demand for its innovative technologies that improve road safety and mobility experiences.

Smart Eye’s human-centric approach to technology, and the deep expertise of its team, are key in its ability to develop and deliver automotive-grade products that will save lives and provide more engaging and restorative mobility experiences. In 2021, the company acquired Affectiva, combining top-of-the-line eye-tracking technology with Affectiva’s Emotion AI to create an unparalleled interior sensing technology. Smart Eye’s Automotive Interior Sensing AI includes driver monitoring, occupant monitoring and cabin monitoring to provide unparalleled insight into what is happening with people in a vehicle. Now, with this latest expansion of Smart Eye’s team, the company will be well-positioned to accelerate development and delivery of technology that meets emerging regulatory requirements, addresses existing industry needs, and opens the door for next-generation use cases.

Smart Eye’s new appointments include:

  • Kenji Nakamura, Country Manager of Japan: Kenji Nakamura will be a pivotal part of Smart Eye’s business development, building on existing relationships and developing new business across the automotive sector in Japan. In his role as Country Manager, he will also plan and direct Smart Eye’s business and resources in its regional office in Tokyo, Japan, driving progress and ensuring the company attains its objectives. Mr. Nakamura has over a decade of experience from multiple sides of the automotive industry, having spent time both as an engineer for Nissan and a business consultant for Roland Berger and Renesas Electronics. With involvement in both the mechanical and strategic sides of the automotive space, Nakamura is uniquely qualified to guide Smart Eye’s business development in Japan as Country Manager.
  • Halina Niemiec, Ph.D., Senior Director of Product Management: Dr. Halina Niemiec will take on a key role in Smart Eye’s automotive team. As Senior Director of Product Management, she will define Smart Eye’s Interior Sensing product strategy and product roadmap by synthesising input from customers, partners, executives, sales, services and engineering, and analysis of evolving industry trends. Prior to joining Smart Eye, Dr. Niemiec held positions at Aptiv and Varroc, leading product strategy and development for in-cabin sensing. With a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow, Poland and hands-on experience developing vision sensing in advanced driver-assistance systems, she is primed to deliver leading and innovative products that reinforce Smart Eye’s market leadership.
  • Christian Schnell, Vice President of Quality: As Vice President of Quality, Christian Schnell will be responsible for defining the quality management system at Smart Eye, ensuring that the company is certified against required quality standards. He will also be instrumental in building up and strengthening Smart Eye’s independent organization for quality. Prior to joining Smart Eye, Mr. Schnell worked as consulting Quality Engineer for automotive and healthcare systems, before holding leadership positions within quality management at Aptiv. His extensive experience in managing quality systems and processes within the global automotive industry makes Schnell an ideal appointment for leading Smart Eye’s quality work.

“I’m extremely excited to welcome Dr. Halina Niemiec, Kenji Nakamura, and Christian Schnell to Smart Eye. As Smart Eye grows as a company, so does our ability to attract top talent from the industry. These new team members are among the most qualified in their respective areas of expertise; and at Smart Eye, they will play a key role in helping us meet the growing demand for innovative automotive Interior Sensing technology,” said Martin Krantz, CEO at Smart Eye. “With a strong global presence, we are strengthening our leadership in the automotive space. Our opportunity is to build technology that makes a difference for global road safety and our team is ready and hungry to bring these life-saving solutions to market better and faster than anyone else.”

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