Oxbotica, a UK audio and video software expert, warned that due to the continuous growth of skyscrapers and city infrastructure, AV is facing the risk of signal disruption in city around the world due to city canyon.
Oxbotica’s goal is to bring all vehicles in any environment
When there are tall buildings on both sides of the street, it will form a city canyon. This may lead to the degradation or loss of ground GPS signal, which has potential security problems for AV systems that rely heavily on satellite based navigation.
The increase of high-rise buildings
The number of high-rise buildings (more than 200 million) has increased by 650% in the past five years (according to high-rise buildings and the urban human settlements Council). According to the forecast data of oxbotica, this number will increase by as much as 20% again by 2020, and the frequency of forming urban canyons in cities will only increase.
Even a standard three story building is enough to cause signal interference on the ground, the report said. Moreover, at higher latitudes (where satellites tend to be lower in the sky), the problem is more serious. The company reported that if there is no suitable backup equipment, it may affect the automatic driving vehicles in these environments, including mass transit buses, buses, city delivery vehicles and automobiles.
But the canyon is not the only problem GPS relies on. The sunspots formed in the 11 year magnetic field cycle of the sun will cause obvious changes in the solar wind. This will affect the upper atmosphere, which in turn will interfere with GPS satellites. The solution is to use a combination of radar, camera and laser to navigate and locate, rather than relying solely on GPS.
“There are so many urban canyons and GPS” blind spots “in our towns, cities and villages that we can’t rely on GPS for accurate navigation,” said Ben uptroft, vice president of technology at oxbotica.
Oxbotica’s technology can be used in a variety of environments, including mines and quarries
“Although this may cause problems for some self driving cars, our software is designed to mitigate this situation and to work independently of GPS signals, thus helping us to bring better self driving to any vehicle in any environment.”
Oxbotica claims that its own technology can work independently of any external infrastructure, and can continuously locate and safely control its vehicles even without GPS signals. The company said its positioning system does not rely on a single sensor mode, but combines radar, laser and visual sensing functions, enabling autonomous operation in a variety of settings on any vehicle platform under any conditions.
The technology is already operating in a variety of environments where GPS cannot be used, such as mines, quarries, warehouse interiors, and urban canyons in Europe, Asia, and America. It uses the same software to run autopilot in any environment without changing the code.
“It’s difficult to tell you where you are by car sensors instead of GPS, but there are many rewards. New business opportunities are emerging. Working underground is the same as working on the street, and the shuttle car is the same as the transport truck in the mine Paul Newman, chief technology officer and founder of oxbotica, added.
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