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Septentrio GPS/GNSS helps cars avoid collisions on a smart highway

April 8, 2019  - By

Belgium has launched its first smart highway test environment. Septentrio GPS/GNSS receivers are integrated into vehicles and infrastructure to provide dependable, high-accuracy positioning and to aid sensor fusion in driverless navigation and truck platooning.

Septentrio’s high-precision GPS/GNSS technology will be one of the key components in a Smart Highway system, which launched April 8 with a live demonstration in Antwerp, Belgium. A section of a highway will be dedicated as a test environment for technology which prepares Belgium for automated driving and truck platooning.

When vehicles are aware of each other’s position and velocity, road efficiency and safety can be significantly improved by smoothing traffic flow and automatically breaking if slowing traffic is detected ahead.

Roadside units along the highway will feature GNSS receivers acting as reference stations, sending out continuous positioning corrections. Onboard GNSS units will use these corrections together with built-in quality indicators to calculate trustworthy, sub-decimeter positioning. They will also provide precise timing for syncing the multitude of sensors onboard these “smart vehicles.”

“We are excited to be a part of the Smart Highway testbed which is aimed at improving road safety and traffic flow,” said Jan Van Hees, business development director at Septentrio. “The automotive ecosystem is undergoing a shift towards automation enabled by the latest technology in communications, sensors and precise positioning. Our role in this project builds upon our strategy to continue providing high-accuracy, reliable positioning solutions aimed at the automotive industry.”

The Advanced Interference Mitigation (AIM+) technology shields Septentrio receivers from interference. On a highway, an increasing number of trucks are equipped with illegal jamming devices to avoid road tolling. These jamming devices can interfere with GPS signals used by other vehicles and infrastructure.

Smart Highway is a project of the Flemish government coordinated by imec, a world-renowned research and innovation hub of nano-electronics and digital technology. Septentrio, Toyota, Ericsson and Telenet are contributing industry partners for the project, while UAntwerpen, UGent and others are research partners.

On the European level, the CONCORDA project supports research and development of automated vehicle technology and infrastructure in Germany, Spain, France, Netherlands and Belgium.

Featured image: Septentrio

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.