Verizon to deploy RTK stations for ‘hyper-precise’ location info

August 14, 2020  - By

Verizon logoUsing RTK’s pinpoint-level location data in the Verizon network is a building block to bring to scale emerging technologies such as driverless city zones, expansion of precision agriculture and drone delivery.

Verizon has launched what it calls hyper-precise location using real-time kinematics (RTK) to provide accuracy within one to two centimeters on the Verizon network.

Verizon has built and deployed RTK reference stations nationwide so that compatible internet of things (IoT) devices can receive the higher accuracy. Verizon is working to make RTK accessible with myriad device makers.

RTK will also support emerging technologies that depend on high-level location accuracy, such as delivery drones and customer-approved location data for first responders in emergencies.

RTK technology reduces the cost and risk associated with inaccurate location data, Verizon said in a press release. “Billions of IoT devices across a multitude of industries will benefit from improved location accuracy, with hyper-precise location information enabling a host of new services.

“For instance, robotics at distribution centers will be able to perform more efficient, accurate and safe logistics operations. More accurate positioning can help speed deployment of high-value assets in emergency situations to the precise location, and more precise tracking of emergency equipment can provide faster redeployment in disaster response scenarios.”

The rollout of its hyper-precise location services along with Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network and 5G Edge will pave the way for more autonomous technologies, the company said.

“We are scaling RTK to enable mobile location accuracy to within a few centimeters, transforming what is currently possible when it comes to location-enabled services and new IoT solutions coming onto the market,” said Nicola Palmer, chief product development officer for Verizon. “Continued growth in the IoT environment means billions of devices in fields where precision location services are becoming more critical, such as vehicle automation, unmanned aerial vehicles, precision agriculture technology, infrastructure monitoring, asset tracking and high-value shipping.”

Image: 4X-image iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Image: 4X-image iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Reimagining road safety

In partnership with HERE Technologies, Verizon is building next-generation technologies for vehicle and pedestrian safety using hyper-precise high-definition mapping and RTK.

This work paves the way for connected services that are designed to drive road safety improvements. By creating a vehicle-to-network (V2N) communication system equipped with hyper-local location accuracy, collision avoidance applications can precisely identify vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles, and relay the information through Verizon’s 5G Edge and HERE’s AI to predict likely travel paths and warn vehicles of impending potential collisions. This partnership is one of multiple recent initiatives Verizon has taken to increase road safety.

“Moving beyond the static fidelity of satellite-based location data enables an exciting new generation of connected, autonomous experiences,” said Jørgen Behrens, SVP, chief product officer at HERE Technologies. “By pairing HERE’s live, hyper-precise HD Map and HD Positioning technologies with intelligent RTK algorithms, and making that scalable, Verizon is putting a transformative level of location insights into the hands of developers and consumers alike.”

Powering the autonomous future

Hyper-precise location accuracy will be critical to advancing autonomous driving and together, Verizon and Renovo are ushering in a new era of transformative solutions critical for the future of autonomy on the road. These solutions leverage machine learning and RTK technology, powered by a combination of next-generation solutions such as 5G.

“RTK is a critical technology for advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS). Accurate positioning helps ADAS vehicles navigate better, drive smoother, and react faster to the surrounding environment,” said Christopher Heiser, CEO and Co-Founder of Renovo. “Nationwide, reliable RTK networks make for a viable way to deliver these enhanced capabilities to mass-market cars and trucks. For companies that manage the huge datasets that power next-generation vehicle platforms like Renovo, this is very exciting.”

IoT devices currently using RTK can be accessed and managed through Verizon’s ThingSpace management platform and APIs.

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.