July 20, 2020 / 11:33 AM / 24 days ago

Former Ford auto chief Hinrichs joins startup WaveSense's board

Ford Motor Executive Vice President and President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs addresses the audience during the 100-year celebration of the Ford River Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan U.S. September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/Files

DETROIT (Reuters) - Former Ford Motor Co (F.N) automotive operations chief Joe Hinrichs is joining the board of Wavesense, Inc, a Massachusetts startup developing ground-penetrating radar to help guide vehicles during autonomous driving.

Hinrichs retired from Ford in February in a management shakeup.

Wavesense said it was also adding former General Motors Co (GM.N) Chief Financial Officer Chuck Stevens and former Continental AG (CONG.DE) Chief Technical Officer Kurt Lehmann to an advisory board.

Wavesense Chief Executive Tarik Bolat said the company was working with automakers and large suppliers to commercialize its technology, and was three to four years from starting production.

“We will have some fundraising announcements,” Bolat said.

Wavesense is testing ground penetrating radar location technology with automakers, Hinrichs said. The company maps underground features, then matches images from ground penetrating radar to determine a vehicle’s location. The company is also working on a system that can help a vehicle navigate a parking structure in self-driving mode.

Hinrichs said the technology promises to be a “significantly lower cost solution” than lidar, which uses lasers to measure and locate features of the road around a car.

Reporting by Joe White; Editing by Richard Chang

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