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Vodafone developing new satellite technology that can locate Internet of Things devices and autonomous vehicles within centimetres

By Eric Van Rees - 8th September 2022 - 08:11

Vodafone and Topcon Positioning Group are developing a new mass-market precise positioning system that will locate Internet of Things (IoT) devices, machinery, and vehicles with a greater degree of accuracy than using only individual global navigation satellites systems (GNSS).

Vehicles, scooters, and even robot lawn mowers can be securely monitored in real-time to within a few centimetres when connected to Vodafone’s global IoT network and using technology from Topcon which corrects inaccuracies from navigation satellite signals. Location accuracy is improved from a few metres to just centimetres using Topcon’s dense European network of thousands of GNSS reference stations, especially when vehicles and devices are fitted with suitable antennas and receiver equipment.

Vodafone and Topcon have agreed to advance customer trials and Vodafone is now inviting select customers to join pilot activities in Germany, Spain, and the UK, starting this month. The companies aim to test the service, called Vodafone GNSS Corrections, using a wide variety of devices connected to Vodafone’s global IoT network – one of the largest with more than 150 million connections – and its pan-European network which covers 12 countries.

Pinpoint accuracy is critical to the mass adoption of Vehicle to Anything (V2X) technology – the ability for vehicles to speak with other vehicles, road users, and infrastructure – driverless vehicles, as well as for autonomous machinery and robots. For example, e-bike riders could use Vodafone GNSS Corrections to provide details of their exact location and then alert other road users of their presence.

Read More: Satellite Positioning, Navigation & Timing (PNT) Internet of Things Transport & Logistics

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