Thibodeau will oversee GeoDigital’s “digital roads” program that’s digitizing North America’s roads, the largest effort yet to build an independent mapping platform for mass-produced self-driving 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 market leader in North America’s autonomous driving market. Chris is joining 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 support of 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 and executed 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 the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.