Tesla granted US patent for positioning tech

February 6, 2019  - By
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Tesla has developed a technology aimed at providing more accurate positioning for autonomous cars by sharing data between vehicles, according to a U.S. patent application.

The patent, “Technologies for vehicle positioning,” was filed in 2017 and made public in December 2018.

Solutions include cameras detecting matching locations and using other vehicles in its fleet as “cooperative reference stations” to share raw GNSS data and make positioning corrections.

Tesla describes in the patent, “The inventions increase such positioning accuracy via determining and applying offsets (corrections) in various ways, or via sharing of raw positioning data between a plurality of devices, where at least one knows its location sufficiently accurately, for use in differential algorithms.”

Techniques include:

  • a reference station sharing a positional offset with an automobile,
  • a reference station calculating and sharing a set of parameters (offsets and corrections) for various error components including atmospheric, orbital and clock,
  • a reference station sharing its raw GNSS data so that vehicles can remove errors through differencing or other calculations.

Tesla also would correct GPS data by matching camera data with vision maps to detect the exact location of a vehicle. With this vision-map matching localization approach, “a location estimate is varied until the location estimate makes a camera-reported lane boundary coincide with a map-reported lane boundaries,” the patent reads.

Schematic of Tesla’s system shows two vehicles (102, 120) feeding data to a network, a server and a reference station. (Image: Tesla)

Schematic of Tesla’s system shows two vehicles (102, 120) feeding data to a network, a server and a reference station. (Image: Tesla)

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