San Francisco-based tech firm Swift Navigation today announced the release of Skylark, a new, cloud-based GNSS corrections service designed to deliver affordable, fast, centimeter-level accuracy and eliminate the complexity of deploying and maintaining GNSS networks. Skylark was built from the ground-up for autonomy at scale and enables high-precision positioning for mass market automotive and autonomous vehicle applications.
“Configuring high-precision GPS devices into giving centimeter accuracy has traditionally been a bit of science project,” said Fergus Noble, co-founder and CTO of Swift Navigation. “Skylark breaks out of that model and operates like a utility. It is a simple, low-cost internet data stream that provides customers with a complete high-integrity GNSS solution. Simply supply a Swift receiver with power and internet connectivity and get real-time corrections for highly-dynamic GNSS applications.”
Skylark offers a plug-and-play user experience that delivers fast convergence times measured in seconds, not minutes, according to Swift Navigation. It uses cutting-edge positioning algorithms to provide a continuous stream of data to individual devices from the cloud. This data stream is said to allow for quick and robust positioning and high reliability and availability, even in challenging environments.
Swift has been working with Beta customers for more than a year and is now previewing the service to all customers in six major metropolitan markets. Skylark is currently operating in the following geographies—the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Detroit—with full contiguous U.S. and global expansion underwa
Skylark allows receivers to simply connect to a constantly adapting, cloud-based model to obtain GNSS observations, eliminating dependence on base stations in each area of deployment. Skylark works seamlessly with both of Swift’s GNSS receivers—Piksi Multi and Duro.
Customers in preview areas with Swift receivers can sign up for Skylark and immediately start receiving corrections. Unlike existing local high-precision solutions that require dedicated radio antennas and leave users tethered to base stations, Skylark provides a simple path for customers to achieve centimeter accuracy, according to today’s press release. Legacy global high-precision solutions that offer centimeter-accuracy can require up to 30 minutes of waiting during initialization, while Skylark provides fast initialization times in seconds. By moving the service to the cloud, Skylark creates a platform for high-precision GNSS navigation of autonomous vehicles, via internet connectivity. The Skylark end-user experience is further simplified by an online dashboard for fast device registration and management.
“As an early beta user of Skylark, Voyage has already experienced its ground-breaking precision and accuracy,” said Oliver Cameron, co-founder & CEO of Voyage, which deploys self-driving taxis in communities across North America. “Skylark and Piksi Multi are working safely and efficiently in a real-world application today at The Villages, our retirement community in San Jose, California. Swift has been a key partner on our journey to create safer, more comfortable and more affordable autonomous driving experience for our customers.”
To see Skylark in action in Voyage’s unmanned autonomous taxis, you can watch a video at: https://news.voyage.auto/voyages-first-self-driving-car-deployment-29c7688c6a1
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