ATLANTA, Sept. 10, 2015—GeoDigital International Inc., a leader in big spatial data and analytics, today announced that auto industry veteran Chris Thibodeau will join its executive team as senior vice president and general manager of the company's autonomous driving business unit.
Thibodeau will oversee GeoDigital's "digital roads" program, the largest effort yet to build an independent mapping platform for mass-produced autonomous vehicles.
Thibodeau also will be responsible for driving innovation and technological advances in autonomous driving, while leveraging GeoDigital's big spatial data analytics expertise to expand the company's solutions as connected-car, intelligent-sensing and artificial-recognition technologies continue to evolve.
Using high-definition imagery and precision technology called LiDAR -- already proven in the utility, rail and defense industries -- GeoDigital is creating the industry's most detailed 3D maps capable of determining positional accuracy within centimeters. The company's digital roads capture data on road surface, curvature, lane measurements, barrier and bridge position, signage, and other conditions crucial to the safe and smooth driving of autonomous cars.
The company also has patent-pending technology to keep the digital road database current by using the industrial cloud to collect data from cars equipped with sensors. Using GeoDigital's big spatial data and analytics expertise, changes to roadways will be integrated to the company's master maps.
"We're excited that Chris is joining our leadership team," said Chris Warrington, president and CEO of GeoDigital. "The depth of his experience in automotive technology and connected cars further strengthens GeoDigital's position as a leader in North America's autonomous driving market. Chris joins us at a key stage in GeoDigital's evolution. Chris will help drive increased value for our existing automotive industry customers and herald a new era of innovation and investment as GeoDigital helps make mass-produced autonomous vehicles a reality."
"Unlike common navigation maps, autonomous vehicles will require a much higher level of 3D detail," said Thibodeau. "GeoDigital is building the most precise digital road map ever created – with a level of precision that outstrips the engineering-grade surveys used to construct North America's roads in the first place. GeoDigital's unique big spatial data and analytics experience provides an ideal platform to innovate as connected cars, remote sensing and artificial intelligence technologies converge. I'm looking forward to helping GeoDigital continue to push new frontiers in the autonomous-driving industry."
Most recently, Thibodeau was vice president and general manager of infotainment for the Americas at Harman International Industries, which markets audio, visual and entertainment systems to automakers and consumers.
Before joining Harman, Thibodeau held executive level roles at both Ford and General Motors. At Ford, Thibodeau was responsible for global product planning and strategy – electrical user interface and connectivity. At General Motors, Thibodeau was responsible for the design and development of the electrical architecture and systems engineering for "advanced, connected vehicles."
Thibodeau began his career in Ford's electronics operations, which eventually became Visteon, where he designed various electrical products, including audio and infotainment applications for the automotive industry.
Thibodeau holds two U.S. patents. He also serves as vice chairman of Square One Education Network, a provider of experiential learning for K-12 students and teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
GeoDigital, a leader in big spatial data and analytics software, is transforming industries by unlocking the power of spatial insight. Big spatial data combines precise 3D maps – built on remote sensing and imaging technologies such as LiDAR – with analytics software to solve complex geospatial challenges. GeoDigital then adds location-based work management software to turn that geospatial insight into action for safer, more efficient remote operations. From ensuring the reliable delivery of power by better managing critical infrastructure and the vegetation that surrounds it, to paving the way for autonomous cars with digital roads, GeoDigital is expanding the frontiers of our digital planet to deliver real-world benefits.
Founded in 2005, GeoDigital operates in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Its investors include NGP Energy Technology Partners, North Sky Capital, EnerTech Capital and Emerald Technology Ventures. Visit www.geodigital.com to find out more.