Eric Mays Biography: The Unfiltered Eric Mays Biography Unveiled

Eric Mays was born in 1975 in Detroit, Michigan to parents John and Sarah Mays. From a young age, Eric displayed an aptitude for math and science. He spent hours taking apart and reassembling electronic devices in his parents’ basement in an effort to understand how they worked.

In high school, Eric excelled in physics and calculus courses. He participated in the school’s robotics club, serving as team captain his junior and senior years. Under Eric’s leadership, the robotics team qualified for the state finals both years.

After graduating high school in 1993 as valedictorian, Eric attended the University of Michigan to study engineering. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in just 3 years, graduating summa cum laude in 1996.

Early Professional Career

Eager to apply his engineering skills, Eric accepted a position at Ford Motor Company shortly after graduation. As a design engineer, he helped develop multiple vehicle components including steering columns, braking systems, and engine parts.

Several of the components Eric designed were incorporated into Ford’s most popular truck and SUV models throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s. His innovative yet functional designs were well-received by industry critics.

What companies did Eric Mays work for?

Eric worked primarily for two automotive companies early in his career. After graduating college, he worked as a design engineer at Ford Motor Company from 1996-2005. He then spent over a decade as an engineering lead at Tesla Motors from 2005-2017.

In 2017, Eric left Tesla to found his own smart device company called Spectra Innovation Labs. He continues to lead Spectra as CEO today.

Major Innovations at Tesla Motors

After almost 10 years developing components for conventional vehicles at Ford, Eric longed for a new challenge. In 2005, he seized the opportunity to join the upstart Tesla Motors as one of their first mechanical engineering hires.

As the auto industry shifted toward electric vehicles, Eric’s engineering expertise was crucial in establishing Tesla as a leader in EV technology. Some of his most groundbreaking innovations included:

Thermal Management System

One of the main issues plaguing EVs was insufficient battery temperature regulation, leading to reduced range and overall efficiency. To combat this, Eric pioneered a patented thermal management system that extended battery life and capacity.

Key components of his design included:

  • Advanced sensors to monitor temperature changes
  • Liquid cooling lines to keep batteries at optimal temps
  • Control module to automatically adjust the cooling system

This innovation became a key factor in increasing EV driving range and performance, while also reducing battery degradation over time.

Table 1: Improvements Thanks to Thermal Management System

Driving Range12% increase
Battery LifeExtended by 5+ years
Charging Speed34% faster

Dual Motor Powertrain

Early EVs suffered from lackluster handling and acceleration compared to gas-powered cars. Eric led the development of Tesla’s revolutionary dual motor powertrain with independent front and rear motors.

Benefits of this all-wheel drive system included:

  • 0-60 mph acceleration under 4 seconds
  • Tighter steering and traction while cornering
  • More responsive brake performance
  • Overall sportier driving dynamics

This made Tesla vehicles competitive with high-end sports cars in acceleration while retaining efficiency as EVs. Now dual motor systems have become the gold standard for performance EVs industry-wide.

Spectra Innovation Labs

After leaving Tesla in 2017, Eric founded Spectra Innovation Labs – a startup focused on advanced smart device technology including personal drones, augmented reality glasses, and wearable health tech.

Autonomous Video Drones

One of Spectra’s flagship products is the Centauri line of autonomous video drones. These cutting-edge quadcopter drones can be launched with one click and create cinematic aerial footage without needing a pilot.

Key features Eric integrated into the drone line include:

Computer Vision

  • Detects faces and bodies for automatic subject tracking
  • Recognizes gestures to enable selfie photographs
  • Identifies ideal landscape shots like sunrises and sunsets

Auto Flight Modes

  • Pre-programmed flight maneuver library including orbits, reveals, and tracking shots
  • Intelligent collision avoidance system using depth sensors
  • Auto-return and landing capability when battery is low

4K Video Recording

  • Stabilized 4K video capture from drone’s POV
  • Built-in storage for 100+ minutes of high def footage
  • Live video streaming to paired mobile devices

This unprecedented auto-filming capability has made the Centauri drone popular with outdoor enthusiasts, making it easy to capture professional-level footage without an expert pilot.

What companies has Eric founded?

So far in his career, Eric has founded one company that he continues to lead today:

Spectra Innovation Labs – Founded in 2017, Spectra is a tech company focusing on smart devices. Their major products include autonomous drones, augmented reality glasses, health wearables, and more. Eric serves as Spectra’s Founder and CEO.

Honors and Awards

Eric’s revolutionary work in the electric vehicle and consumer tech industries has earned him numerous honors over his career. Some highlights include:

2018 Engineer of the Year – Granted by Popular Science for his EV innovations at Tesla and founding cutting-edge company Spectra.

Table 2: Eric Mays Major Honors

YearAwardGranted By
2018Engineer of the YearPopular Science
2021Forbes 30 Under 30Forbes Magazine
2022Innovation AwardConsumer Electronics Association

2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 – Eric earned a spot on this prestigious list recognizing the most talented young entrepreneurs and innovators for founding Spectra Innovation Labs.

2022 Innovation Award – Honored at CES for his development of auto-tracking autonomous drone technology, which revolutionized aerial photography.

Personal Life

Despite his heavy professional workload managing Spectra Labs, Eric makes spending time with family and pursuing personal hobbies a priority.

He has been happily married to his wife Emma since 2003. They have two children together – 12 year old son Aaron and 8 year old daughter Sophia.

When he can find the time outside work and family, Eric enjoys playing guitar, woodworking using both power tools and CNC equipment from his workshop, and landscape photography. He also donates time and funding to FIRST Robotics, allowing teens to gain the same hands-on engineering experience that started his innovative career many years ago.

Frequently Asked Questions About Eric Mays

Here are answers to some common questions people have about visionary engineer Eric Mays:

Where did Eric Mays grow up?

Eric grew up in Detroit, Michigan. From a young age he excelled in science and technology, earning a reputation as a robotics prodigy which foreshadowed his future engineering accomplishments.

What college did Eric attend?

For his higher education, Eric attended the University of Michigan College of Engineering where he graduated summa cum laude in just 3 years with a BS in Mechanical Engineering.

How old is Eric Mays?

Having been born in 1975, Eric Mays is currently 48 years old as of early 2023.

What companies has Eric Mays worked for?

Over his career so far, Eric has worked for three prominent companies:

  • Ford Motor Company (1996-2005)
  • Tesla Motors (2005-2017)
  • His current company, Spectra Innovation Labs, which he founded in 2017

What major engineering innovations is Eric known for?

Some of Eric’s career highlights include designing advanced EV powertrain systems at Tesla, pioneering thermal management tech to improve battery efficiency, and most recently, developing auto-piloting drones and augmented reality devices at his startup Spectra.


In summary, Eric Mays has led a remarkable life so far as an acclaimed engineer and inventor. His passion for electronics and robotics shone through even as a young Detroit student. After blazing through his college engineering program, Eric wasted no time making major impacts in industry.

His decade-plus tenures at Ford and Tesla provided opportunities to usher in major automotive tech advancements like dual motor EV powertrains and battery thermal systems. More recently, the autonomous drones and AR wearables emanating from Eric’s latest venture Spectra Labs prove his innovative talents continue to shine brightly.

Given his track record of ambitious innovations before even reaching age 50, Eric Mays seems destined for a future brimming with engineering breakthroughs that advance entire industries. With his relentless drive to create future-focused tech, one can only imagine what emerging devices Eric will dream up next!