Future Mobility: Precise Positioning Takes You There

26.07.2022 by Daniel Kunz
A self-driving bus in Sweden

Navigating accurately to within centimeters, Smartmoov learner drivers and Auve Tech’s autonomous shuttles benefit from the IoT and Precise Positioning.

Disregarding the right of way, driving too fast or overlooking a road sign – human error is the most frequent cause of traffic accidents. But with smart technology errors of this kind are avoidable, and self-propelled, fully connected cars and buses are a key element of future mobility. That is why Germany’s Federal Research Ministry has since 2015 invested around €100m in automated and connected driving projects.

Yet many developments are still coming up against technological limits. In bad weather such as torrential rain, fog and snow and on roads with no markings self-propelled vehicles must stay in lane and remain reliably connected. That task posed a challenge for the developers at Auve Tech.

Auve Tech: Safe, Autonomous Driving With Precise Positioning

The Estonian company Auve Tech has specialized in making driverless vehicles and autonomous systems ever since it was founded in 2019. Until recently it relied entirely on LiDAR technology for its self-propelled buses. Auve Tech shuttles used it to recognize their surroundings and calculate their position in order to identify obstacles early. But the technology is cost-intensive and susceptible to external influences such as bad weather. For additional assistance the company has now equipped its shuttles with a Precise Positioning GNSS module (PGM).

How LiDAR Works

LiDAR (light detection and ranging) systems use laser beams to calculate distance or speed. Autonomous transportation systems use the technology to prevent collisions. In robotics it helps to record surroundings and objects precisely. Auve Tech has been using it for its driverless shuttles. LiDAR enables the driverless bus to recognize its surroundings and calculate its position in relation to other physical objects. The result of these calculations is a high-resolution map that the shuttles used for navigation purposes.

Precise Positioning from Telekom and Swift Navigation now adds corrections to GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) positioning data. Swift Navigation’s Starling positioning technology and Skylark Cloud-based correction service enable precise positioning to within four centimeters. The correction service uses a network of hundreds of measuring stations on several continents to identify local satellite navigation inaccuracies. Test runs by the company have shown that the PGM sensor system and the Skylark correction service facilitate secure and accurate positioning in autonomous navigation and thus ideally supplement the existing LiDar technology. So the satellite-assisted IoT technology Precise Positioning can be used as a standalone autonomous driving solution.

Smartmoov: Fewer Accidents, Safer Roads With Precise Positioning

IoT and Precise Positioning can also help improve road safety for vehicles with a human driver at the wheel. The French startup Smartmoov uses Precise Positioning to help learner drivers and driving instructors. It has developed an automatic monitoring and analysis solution that observes the driver’s behavior and helps make roads safer. Dashboard cameras inside and outside the vehicle record driving lessons. This is also a solution insurance companies can use to better assess the risk that an insured motorist poses.

To analyze and optimize driver behavior supplements the video material is supplemented by precise location data. To provide it Smartmoov has equipped the dashboard cameras with the PGM module. Thanks to the Skylark correction service the driving school cars can be located to within four centimeters and information is supplied on how well they keep to their lane. After every lesson an artificial intelligence report on the driver’s behavior is compiled. Thanks to Precise Positioning Smartmoov is thereby able to establish where the most frequent mistakes are made and driving schools can respond by initiating road safety and accident prevention measures.

Accurate Positioning From the Cloud

With the aid of this IoT technology companies can make their driverless vehicles and autonomous systems safer. GNSS positioning on its own is not accurate enough for autonomous navigation, but Precise Positioning enables companies to benefit from a much greater degree of accuracy, while the correction service makes even minor positioning errors a thing of the past. And the Cloud-based IoT application is scalable for an unlimited number of autonomous vehicles. For future mobility that means maximum safety in autonomous road traffic, not to mention the fact that the environment and other industries, such as agriculture, stand to benefit from the IoT technology.


 

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Daniel Kunz
Daniel Kunz

Expert Digital Marketing

Digitization and the Internet of Things are among the favourite topics of Daniel Kunz. He has been with Deutsche Telekom since 2017 and regularly writes about technology trends and many exciting topics, especially for the retail trade and the logistics industry.