Manuela Papadopol

CEO, Designated Driver

Manuela has devoted her career to advancing automotive technology. She is an ambassador for the entire industry as it evolves toward highly automated features and, ultimately, self-driving cars. In addition to her role as CEO of Designated Driver, she serves as an advisory board member for Automobility LA where she pioneered the event’s Top 10 Automotive Startup Competition, shining a light on the technological innovation that is bringing smart mobility to the masses. Manuela also sits on the advisory board for Udacity and holds a patent in voice-activated acquisition of non-local content.

As co-founder of Sansea Consulting, she has provided guidance to a range of automotive companies and startups. Previously, Manuela led the global marketing effort as director of business development and communications at Elektrobit, establishing the company’s worldwide reach. At Microsoft, as a global marketing manager, she supported Windows Embedded Automotive, Ford SYNC and other automotive initiatives and was recognized with the Microsoft Gold Star Award. She also served as marketing manager for both Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Manuela has received many industry awards including the Women Worth Watching Award from Diversity Journal and she was named a top Woman in IOT Marketing from Connected World.