Integrated sensor solutions for reliable precise positioning in challenging environments

Peter Buist

Currently, there is a large demand from mobile applications for precise and reliable positioning. Whereas technologies for GNSS-based precise positioning are already available for other applications, this is not the case for more challenging applications, e.g. mobile devices used by pedestrians and vehicles moving in an urban environment. The figure illustrates by how much the accuracy of the positioning decreases when a user moves from a rural to an urban environment, or even indoors, where GNSS becomes unavailable. As shown in the figure, the positioning results achieved by solely relying on GNSS signals in an urban environment are often as inaccurate as several dozen metres, or worse.

The solution to this is to integrate GNSS with other sensors, such as accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetic sensors, in order to take advantage of each sensor’s strong points. The latest smartphones on the market have not yet been able to provide the high levels of accuracy, reliability, and availability required by the more advanced applications. With our innovative solutions on sensor integration, the error envelope for users can be significantly reduced – even in challenging environments.