Autonomous Vehicles

August 9, 2018

Spirent, WMG and Chronos Technology Collaborating to Improve Intelligent Vehicle Location Systems

The need for smart devices to have a highly accurate self-awareness of their own location, and the location of other smart devices around them is becoming increasingly important. Many devices rely on a singular location technology (typically GPS), which is one type of the wider eco system of GNSS. These systems, while becoming more capable, still suffer at times from the deployment environment, typically in urban areas where buildings and other cityscape features interfere with the signal.

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By Inside GNSS

Septentrio’s AsteRx-i Delivers Accurate, Reliable GNSS/IMU Integrated Positioning

GNSS receiver manufacturer Septentrio recently launched the next generation AsteRx-i which combines the company’s latest compact, multi-frequency multi-constellation GNSS engine with an external industrial grade MEMS based IMU. It can deliver accurate and reliable GNSS/IMU integrated positioning to the cm-level as well as full 3D attitude at high update rates and low latency, according to Septentrio.

Designed around demanding requirements for size, weight and power consumption, the AsteRx-i is ideal for optical inspection and photogrammetry. Accompanied by a UAS-tailored carrier board, the AsteRx-i integrates seamlessly into light UAVs. The versatility of design and range of connection interfaces extend the AsteRx-i applicability to automation and robotics and as well as logistics.

Key benefits for users:

  • IMU-enhanced GNSS positioning with full attitude: heading pitch and roll
  • Quad-constellation, multi-frequency, all-in-view RTK receiver
  • AIM+ interference monitoring and mitigation system
  • High-update rate, low-latency positioning and attitude

The AsteRx-i includes Septentrio’s GNSS+ suite of positioning algorithms to convert difficult environments into good positioning: LOCK+ technology to maintain tracking during heavy vibration, APME+ to combat multipath and IONO+ technology to ensure continued position accuracy during periods of elevated ionospheric activity. It also features AIM+ interference mitigation and monitoring system which can suppress the widest variety of interferers, from simple continuous narrowband signals to the most complex wideband and pulsed jammers.

“Complementing our GNSS portfolio with an INS offering is a natural evolution of our product range. At Septentrio, we design our GNSS solutions with a focus on reliability and availability. Smart integration of inertial sensors builds on these strengths to make affordable high-precision positioning and orientation solutions possible for ever more demanding applications,” said Francesca Clemente, product manager at Septentrio.

Also earlier this year, the company launched AsteRx SB, a compact and ruggedized GNSS receiver.

By Inside GNSS
August 1, 2018

Rohde & Schwarz Delivers 3GPP C-V2X Device Testing for GCF Protocol Conformance

Test and measurement equipment supplier Rohde & Schwarz has further expanded the capabilities of its R&S CMW500 wideband radio communication tester and R&S SMBV100A GNSS simulator to support Global Certification Forum (GCF) protocol conformance tests for C-V2X (cellular vehicle-to-everything) device certification.

Using the Qualcomm(R) 9150 C-V2X chipset solution from Qualcomm Technologies, the R&S CMW500 acting as LTE network simulator now allows automakers to test C-V2X direct communications (PC5) according to GCF Work Item 281.

3GPP Release 14 specifies the direct communications specifications for C-V2X PC5, which enables vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) safety applications, and does so without a mobile cellular subscription or network assistance and operates in ITS bands 46D (5.8 GHz) and 47 (5.9 GHz).

The new R&S CMW-KK550 test package includes the 3GPP protocol conformance tests from LTE-V2V GCF Work Item 281 and LTE-V2X GCF Work Item 282. As recently announced, the R&S CMW-KU514 C-V2X software package on the R&S CMW500 is used to verify data transmission and reception over the PC5 interface in ideal, faded and congested channel conditions. Together, both packages enable Rohde & Schwarz to support C-V2X device testing through all protocol layers.

C-V2X device testing is a significant step towards achieving the goal of having fully connected and autonomous vehicles to improve public safety and increase traffic efficiency. C-V2X, including direct communications for safety applications, complements network-based communications that deliver telematics services and various use cases for connected infotainment and over-the-air software updates.

“C-V2X PC5 radio technology has quickly advanced to a pre-commercial stage, and Rohde & Schwarz is pleased to be the first test equipment vendor to offer a comprehensive C-V2X test suite. The automobile industry can now verify functionality and performance of C-V2X devices, as well as start device testing as per 3GPP protocol conformance tests,” said Anton Messmer, vice-president, mobile radio testers at Rohde & Schwarz. “This expanded capability complements our support for European eCall and shows our long-standing support for automotive applications.”

By Inside GNSS
July 31, 2018

2018 ITS World Congress Sept. 17-21 in Copenhagen

This year’s World Congress takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark from September 17-21. The ITS Congresses represent the ultimate showcase of mobility services deployment. Every year, ERTICO organizes the ITS regional Congress or World Congress in Europe. These Congresses are the yearly celebration of smart mobility: they underline the importance of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), particularly in cities and regions where they are hosted and are important channels to raise awareness of smart mobility solutions among policy makers, experts and the general public.

The 2018 ITS World Congress will attract more than 10,000 participants from more than 100 countries, and will feature more than 150 sessions, 400 exhibitors, many demonstrations and technical tours, as well as a series of associated events, social occasions and networking opportunities.

The over-arching theme of this year’s ITS World Congress is Quality of Life and  panelists will be asked “Quality of Life: How is innovation making mobility better?” Following this first day event, there will be onsite demonstrations of a range of the latest innovations including Keolis: First Autonomous Cab on the market, NordicWay 2: Car traffic management provided by “the sky”; Aurrigo: Self-driving pod shuttle service; MinRejseplan : A Huge Step Towards a Mobility as a Service-App / MaaS App and more.

The official Opening Ceremony of the ITS Congress will then take place in the presence of the HRH the Crown Prince of Denmark with dignitaries such as the Mayor of Copenhagen, Commissioner for Mobility and Transport, President of the FIA and CEO of ERTICO.

For more details, click here.

By Inside GNSS
July 23, 2018

GEOSPATIAL Sector the Focus at INTERGEO 2018

If you are interested in innovative products and services in the GEOSPATIAL sector, then you should consider attending INTERGEO October 16-18 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Once again in 2018, the leading international trade fair for geodesy, geoinformation and land management’s hot topics will highlight ground-breaking developments and projects in a dynamic geo-IT sector. At last year’s fair, more than 18,000 visitors discovered the latest innovations from 580 companies from 37 different countries. And the community is continuing to grow.

Highlights for this year’s event include:

• High-profile conference with key topics
The digitalization with its innovations regarding BIM, virtual and augmented reality, UAV and smart cities will be the main topics in Frankfurt. For details on the keynotes, click here. 

New themed trade fair platforms 

SMART CITY SOLUTIONS: Immerse yourself in inspiring visions of the city of the future and exciting projects that are already up and running right now.
INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS: The leading platform for commercial and civil drone use in Europe complements the flight show for drones with an extensive overview of the latest market developments, end-to-end business models, manufacturers and suppliers of drones.
Host city of Frankfurt
The metropolis of Frankfurt will be a meeting point for experts and decision-makers from the worlds of politics, science and industry on an international stage during the days of INTERGEO.

Technologies and practical applications 
BIM, autonomous driving, virtual and augmented reality technologies will be among the key topics addressed at INTERGEO.
For more information on INTERGEO 2018, click here .

By Inside GNSS
July 10, 2018

NovAtel’s GNSS+INS Combined System with SPAN Technology Now Offered in Rugged, Ultra-Compact Unit

NovAtel announced today that it is now delivering their market-leading SPAN® tightly-coupled GNSS+INS navigation technology in a rugged, ultra-compact unit. Commercially exportable and ideal for integration into a wide variety of applications, the high-performance SPAN CPT7 is designed to deliver assured positioning – anywhere, in a package one-quarter the size of the highly successful SPAN-CPT.

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By Inside GNSS

Curtiss-Wright Highlights A-PNT Solutions for Ground Vehicles in GPS/GNSS-Denied Environments at JNC

Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division announced that it will highlight its family of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS)-based modules and LRU solutions designed for system integrators seeking to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy Assured Position, Navigation and Timing (A-PNT) services at the 2018 Joint Navigation Conference, July 9-11 (Booth #109), the largest U.S. military Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) conference of the year with joint service and government participation.

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By Inside GNSS
June 29, 2018

Inertial Sense Partners with DataTribe to Expand Autonomous Navigation

Inertial Sense announced last week that it has closed a $2 million round of seed funding led by DataTribe and supported by Atomic Ventures. Inertial Sense, a manufacturer of high-performance precision GPS-Inertial Navigation Systems, will use the funds to accelerate their market-leading position and advanced development of additional micro-navigation solutions and 3-D motion sensors.

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By Inside GNSS
June 8, 2018

Inertial Labs Introduces Dual Antenna GNSS-Aided INS

Inertial Labs, Inc., a developer and supplier of inertial sensors & systems, has released an affordable, multi GNSS constellation, 1 cm RTK accuracy dual-antenna GPS-Aided Inertial Navigation System (INS).

The “INS-DL” and the OEM version “INS-DL-OEM” are multi-constellation (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou) GPS-Aided INS designed to achieve 1 cm Position and 0.05° Heading, Pitch & Roll accuracy. These highly precise and high-accuracy INS are available for around $5,000 USD.

Designed for developers of autonomous and unmanned systems; vehicles and small robots for precision agriculture; payloads for remote sensing and survey applications, the GPS-Aided “INS-DL” and “INS-DL-OEM” are compact and deliver high performance.

The “INS-DL” can be supplied as a classic Inertial Navigation System, which outputs Position, Orientation and IMU data for real-time and post-processing operation, or as an advanced, GPS-Aided Motion Reference Unit, which outputs Position, Velocity, Heading, Pitch, Roll, Heave, Surge, Sway and Significant Wave Height data for survey, hydrography, bathymetry and motion control.

“GPS-Aided INS-DL is a result of significant efforts of our R&D team. It is a market-oriented solution, geared towards applications, requiring the best combination of high performance and low cost” said Jamie Marraccini, Inertial Labs’ CEO & President, in a press release.

This year, Inertial Labs celebrates its 17th anniversary of supplying inertial sensor-based solutions for land, marine and aerospace applications. Since 2001, thousands of inertial systems, as well as those fused with other technologies like optical, laser, and GNSS systems, have been successfully delivered to customers for AGV, UAV, AUV, UUV, robots, land vehicles etc.

By Inside GNSS
June 3, 2018

Hexagon Acquires AutonomouStuff to Bolster Leadership Position in Autonomous Solutions

With expectations of accelerating the implementation of safety, integrity and reliability, within GNSS for autonomous applications, Hexagon AB announced the acquisition of AutonomouStuff, a leading supplier of integrated autonomous vehicle solutions.

Founded in 2010, US-based AutonomouStuff is pioneering turn-key platforms for autonomous vehicle development, robotics and data intelligence innovation. Its turn-key platforms, which utilize a robust portfolio of technologies, are deployed in pilot programs worldwide – representing more than 2,500 customers in the automotive and technology sectors across Silicon Valley, America, Europe and Asia.

“The acquisition of AutonomouStuff accelerates Hexagon’s ability to move our customers beyond the data impasse of IoT,” said Ola Rollén, Hexagon President and CEO. “We’re particularly interested in technologies that are the most disruptive – those capable of leveraging the vast potential of data being generated by connected things, integrating AI, Edge-Cloud Orchestration, Mobility, and Data Visualization into autonomous connected ecosystems.”

“When combined with our positioning intelligence, mapping and sensing technology leadership, this acquisition creates a nexus of domain expertise that will lead the autonomous mobility industry for years to come.”

Hexagon PI has been an industry leader in GNSS for many years, and the company’s Safety Critical Systems Group has been working on applications for a variety of autonomous X. Hexagon PI has been working closely with AutonomouStuff as an important technology provider, and the two companies share common customers.

Combining efforts will accelerate the development of more comprehensive Autonomous X solutions, positioning PI as the benchmark in the development of autonomy solutions, Hexagon stated.

The merger of the two companies seems like a natural fit, and Hexagon explained in a statement issued to Inside GNSSsome of what the industry should expect to see soon.

“The automotive industry is investing heavily in autonomy and our approach to highly accurate and highly reliable and assured positioning is getting the attention of this industry,” the statement read. “Our products and services are being used in many autonomous vehicle research programs and test fleets AutonomouStuff has been supporting these same programs by providing all of the hardware, software and services required for autonomous development, including complete autonomous test vehicles.”

AutonomouStuff platforms are critical to many autonomous research programs and as these programs move from research phase to production they will require safety and integrity. Hexagon PI has been investing heavily in this for over two years through its Safety Critical Systems development and new ISO standard implementations. Combining the effort of PI and AutonomouStuff can support automotive companies through their research programs and all the way through to serial production. Together the two companies will accelerate the development of more comprehensive Autonomous X solutions, positioning PI as the benchmark in the development of autonomy solutions – something neither company on their own can accomplish, according to Hexagon.

Completion of the transaction (closing) is subject to regulatory approvals, including a voluntary filing to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and other customary conditions which are expected to be satisfied within the coming 90 days. The transaction purchase price will not be publicly disclosed as it’s insignificant relative to Hexagon’s market capitalization, the company said in a press release.

By Stan Goff
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