WaveSense wins ‘Newcomer of the Year Award’ at TU-Automotive Detroit


A MIT spin-off company that is commercializing its military-proven ground-penetrating radar (GPR) navigation system for use in self-driving vehicles, WaveSense Inc., has won the ‘Newcomer of the Year Award’ at the TU-Automotive Detroit industry event.

The awards program is a key component of TU-Automotive Detroit, the world’s largest automotive technology conference and exhibition helping to shape and influence the future of connected mobility. The TU-Automotive Awards are amongst the most prestigious and anticipated awards in the connected car industry. The winners include organizations across 13 categories that are pioneering the development of products and services in areas ranging from connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and insurance, to advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and cybersecurity.

Originally developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory for military purposes, WaveSense’s GPR-based system significantly improves navigation safety and precision on any road by keeping self-driving vehicles precisely in-lane. The company’s patented technology complements existing autonomous vehicle sensors, such as GPS/INS, radar, lidar and cameras, to keep vehicles precisely in-lane, especially in poor weather conditions and where lane markings do not exist or are unclear and confusing. As the vehicle drives, WaveSense continually scans the subsurface soil layers, rocks and road bedding about 126 times per second and compares the results to its onboard image database to determine the exact vehicle position in relation to the road, with centimeter-level accuracy.

The TU-Automotive award is the third major industry prize that WaveSense has won this year. The company was named the Top Autonomous Driving Project at the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, and also received the ‘Best in Show’ award from PlanetM, the mobility initiative of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. WaveSense was also a runner-up in the TU-Automotive Awards ‘Best ADAS or Autonomous Product/Service’ category.

“It is truly an honor that we are being recognized with this prestigious award at a conference that brings together the leading companies and executives in autonomous and assisted driving,” said Tarik Bolat, CEO and co-founder of WaveSense. “In conjunction with our industry partners, we’re moving safety for autonomous and assisted driving forward with our ground penetrating radar technology that enables the most reliable navigation in the broadest set of circumstances, including in inclement weather and other common but challenging driving scenarios.”

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James joined the Traffic Technology International team in 2017. Previously he was Assistant Editor on an engineering title for several years and has worked for various other trade magazines before that. James is happily married and has a young daughter and son who keep him busy.