From racecars to boundless opportunities

October 2, 2020  - By
Headshot: Julian Thomas

Julian Thomas, founder & managing director, Racelogic

When I started Racelogic nearly 30 years ago, I could not have foreseen how intrinsically embedded GPS would become in my life. I started out with the goal of supplying electronic control systems to the motorsport world. From traction control systems to paddle shifters for automatic cars, our technology rapidly built a reputation for quality and accuracy. It was this pursuit of accuracy that led me to GPS.

GPS can be used for a wide variety of applications, but still not many people realize just how accurate it is for measuring the speed of a moving object. It was whilst looking for a solution to measure ground speed to use as a reference for a traction control system for a 4-wheel drive rally car that we came across an Ashtech 20-Hz GPS engine and were amazed to find out just how accurate the speed output was. This was a turning point in Racelogic’s history, which led to the development of one of our best-known products, the Velocity Box (VBOX), which is used to measure speed, distance and acceleration of vehicles for use in the test and development of new cars.

It is undoubtedly an exciting time for GNSS. New signals and constellations are delivering a huge improvement in performance, which has spurred the release of new, lower cost, game-changing products into the marketplace. With cm-level position now becoming affordable for almost any application, it will be fascinating to follow how this changes the face of the positioning market, and see what innovations and novel applications will appear.

Delivering solutions to these emerging applications will require agility and flexibility to integrate GPS with sector-specific technology. If this can be combined with solutions that overcome some of the limitations of GPS, then the opportunities are boundless. I for one am excited to see where the next 30 years takes us.

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