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u-blox: Disruption leads to wide adoption

September 28, 2022  - By

An interview with Markus Uster, head of product center positioning at u-blox about recent GNSS receiver innovations.



What was the most significant technical innovation in your GNSS receivers in the past five years?

The u-blox F9, launched in 2018, is our robust and versatile high-precision positioning technology platform. It was the first receiver to enable multi-band high-precision positioning solutions for mass-market industrial and automotive applications — and remains the benchmark for the industry today.

The platform combines multi-constellation (continuous reception of four satellite constellations) GNSS technology with dead reckoning and high-precision algorithms. It is also compatible with a variety of GNSS correction data services to achieve positioning accuracy down to the centimeter level.

The u-blox F9 platform is leading the next generation of high-precision navigation with its augmented reality, unmanned vehicles and various machine automation applications. It has since been integrated into a selection of modules catering to a wide range of applications.

What has it enabled users to do that they could not do before?

The u-blox F9 is a widely adopted multi-band GNSS platform for automotive and industrial applications. (Photo: u-blox)

The u-blox F9 is a widely adopted multi-band GNSS platform for automotive and industrial applications. (Photo: u-blox)

In a nutshell, the u-blox F9 brought high-precision positioning to the mass market. The demand for scalable high-precision technology is growing rapidly, as evident in the automotive world with next-generation advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and in robotics with applications such as UAVs and robotic lawnmowers. However, due to the complexity, size, power and cost restrictions of existing high-precision solutions, until now it has been difficult to meet the demands of these markets.

u-blox developed the u-blox F9 platform by building on the success of our NEO-M8P high-precision GNSS module series and drawing on our extensive experience in GNSS positioning technologies, including dead reckoning, multi-band, real-time kinematic (RTK) and GNSS correction services. The platform delivers the next level of scalable GNSS high-precision technology and shows how u-blox is consistently addressing challenges and driving the GNSS technology evolution.

What is a good example of this?

Integration of the u-blox F9 platform into various applications has proven quite successful in a diverse range of use cases. In the industrial realm, u-blox F9 technology enables mass adoption of commercial unmanned vehicle applications. One example is precision agriculture, where high-precision positioning cost-effectively enables vehicle guidance solutions to improve pass-to-pass accuracy resulting in improved crop yield and reduced consumption of pesticides, fertilizer and seeds. The u-blox F9 modules also paved the way for autonomous driving, including lane-level navigation for heads-up displays and vehicular infotainment systems, a prerequisite for highly automated and fully autonomous vehicles.

About the Author: Matteo Luccio

Matteo Luccio, GPS World’s Editor-in-Chief, possesses more than 20 years of experience as a writer and editor for GNSS and geospatial technology magazines. He began his career in the industry in 2000, serving as managing editor of GPS World and Galileo’s World, then as editor of Earth Observation Magazine and GIS Monitor. His technical articles have been published in more than 20 professional magazines, including Professional Surveyor Magazine, Apogeo Spatial and xyHt. Luccio holds a master’s degree in political science from MIT. He can be reached at or 541-543-0525.