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Feb 2018 | No Comment

Astrata launches VanLinc

After more than 25 years developing high-end telematics software for the HGV industry globally, Astrata is now bringing its expertise to benefit the European LCV market with the launch of VanLinc™.

This fleet management solution provides real-time insights on drivers, vehicles and other assets, helping businesses drive productivity and increase capacity for work. The VanLinc solution also effortlessly integrates with refrigeration systems to maintain constant temperature control during transport. www.astrata.eu/vanlinc

Location detection when GPS doesn’t work

Professor of aeronautics and astronautics Moe Win has spent the last decade investigating the theory and practice of using wireless signals to gauge location.

Recently, Win and two colleagues – Wenhan Dai, an MIT graduate student in aeronautics and astronautics, and Yuan Shen, an associate professor of electronic engineering at Tsinghua University, who did his graduate work at MIT – expand on those results.

First, they show how changing a wireless localization system’s parameters – such as the power, bandwidth, and duration of its transmissions – alters the fundamental limits on its accuracy. This, in turn, allows them to determine the system configuration that yields the most accurate location inferences. They also provide practical localization algorithms that can approach those limits in real-world scenarios.

The researchers’ theoretical approach assumes that the localization network consists of nodes with known positions, referred to as “anchors,” and nodes with unknown positions, referred to as “agents.” Wi-Fi access points distributed through an office building, for instance, could serve as anchors. Smartphones trying to determine their positions relative to the anchors would count as agents.

Within the theoretical framework, the goal is something the researchers call “node prioritization” – that is, determining which of the available anchors should transmit, at what power and with what range of frequencies and signal durations, in order to achieve a balance between localization accuracy and consumption of system resources. A solution that produced very accurate measurements by allowing an anchor to blast so loud and long that no other communication over the network was possible, for instance, would not be considered optimal.

The researchers’ theoretical analysis shows that the ability to adjust system parameters can consistently reduce localization error by 30 to 50 percent. The key to the new paper is a geometric interpretation of the problem of choosing and configuring anchors. The metric that the researchers use to assess the accuracy of location inferences depends on three different characteristics of the location information extracted from wireless signals. As such, it defines a three-dimensional mathematical space, which turns out to be bullet-shaped. http://news.mit.edu

Real-time connected vehicle safety services from Here for BMW drivers

Here Technologies has launched a cloudbased system which aggregates real-time data generated by cars of different brands to provide live road safety information.

The company then delivers this to drivers and passengers through the car’s head unit display, or to its advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to support automated safety functions. BMW will be the first automaker to offer Here Safety Services in production vehicles from mid-2018. The services will first become available to drivers and passengers across Western Europe and North America. www.fleetnews.co.uk

Acuity Brands, Inc. Phunware adds Atrius IoT Indoor Positioning Solution

Acuity Brands, Inc. has announced that Phunware, an enterprise mobile software company, has joined the Atrius(TM) Internet of Things (IoT) partner ecosystem. Phunware will be adding the Atrius Navigator software development kit (SDK) to its indoor positioning technology offerings, providing customers an innovative, energy-efficient option to support Phunware’s hardwareagnostic location capabilities. Phunware currently provides an indoor wayfinding solution, available on both Apple® iOS and Android(TM) operating systems, which can be embedded within a fully configurable Phunware-managed native app or within a customer’s existing app via its Mapping and Location SDKs. www.acuitybrands.com/atrius

Smart city cloud platform by Ford and autonomic

Ford and Silicon Valley-based Autonomic will work together to build a new open platform upon which cities can build out infrastructure communications, including connected traffic lights and parking spots, called the “Transportation Mobility Cloud”, according to Ford CEO Jim Hackett.

The platform is designed to help connect smart transportation services, as well as adjacent connected offerings, uniting them with one common language to help coordinate all this efforts in real-time. That means tying together personal cars with vehicle-to-everything communications built in, incorporating things like bike sharing networks, public and private transportation services, including buses, trains, ride hailing and beyond. The Transportation Mobility Cloud will support location-based services, determining routes, sending out alerts about things like service disruptions, handing identity management and payment processing, as well as dealing with data gather and analytics. https://techcrunch.com

Intel unveils first autonomous vehicle

In the opening keynote for CES 2018, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich highlighted how data is transforming the world around us and driving the next great wave of technology innovation, from autonomous driving to artificial intelligence (AI) to virtual reality (VR) and other forms of immersive media.

In autonomous driving, he unveiled Intel’s first autonomous vehicle in its 100-car test fleet; disclosed that BMW, Nissan, and Volkswagen are moving their Mobileye-based mapping design wins to actual deployments; and announced new collaborations with SAIC Motor and NavInfo to extend crowdsourced map building to China. Focused on the future of AI, Krzanich announceda partnership with Ferrari North America to use Intel’s AI technologies to apply data from the racetrack to enhance the experience for fans and drivers.

OS shapes up the UK’s driverless infrastructure

Business Secretary, Greg Clark, has appointed Ordnance Survey (OS) to shape the UK’s national infrastructure to be capable of supporting driverless car networks. OS will help the country effectively shape and deploy a national infrastructure that has the capability to support the national network of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) in the digital age.

Named E-CAVE, the project is firmly at the heart of the government’s modern industrial strategy and helps to continue the UK’s status as a world-leading location in tech and CAVs. The project will be run over a four year period, focusing on the challenges there are to creating an effective connected car environments. OS will use digital data expertise to find effective solutions to deploy the infrastructure. www.cbrgovernment.com

PCI Geomatics Releases GXL 2017, Service Pack 1

PCI Geomatics, recently released Service Pack 1 for GXL 2017. It is used by large organizations that must meet time critical deadlines on a regular basis and work with a variety of satellite and aerial images. Most recently, PCI customers have requested improved support for fast processing of imagery collected by ADS push broom cameras, which are increasingly being used for large area mapping and are well suited for corridor mapping.

Apple to expand its fleet of self-driving cars

To test the on-road safety of its selfdriving car technologies, tech giant Apple is planning to expand its fleet of self-driving cars from 3 to 27. Approved in April last year, Apple started the self-driving technology project, dubbed as “Project Titan.”

The project will use the fleet of Lexus SUVs just like it was used for its last 3 vehicles. Equipped with Velodyne’s LiDAR imaging sensor, the cars were registered to test on public roads in California.

Apple’s vehicles are also outfitted with radar sensors and a computing stack on the outside that are designed to help support the LiDAR sensors in visualizing the world around the vehicle.

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