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Next-generation navigation technologies for autonomous vehicles

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ALBORA (Next-generation navigation technologies for autonomous vehicles)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2018-08-31

The purpose of Albora Technologies is to develop a next-generation GNSS receiver prototype that brings into play:

- Fast and more sensitive signal acquisition
- Higher precision (sub cm)
- Lower power requirements

Albora Technologies has developed the Albora GNSS Engine to be included in the Albora GNSS Receiver to target especially the Connected Autonomous Vehicles market among other sectors. The reason for such focus has been the lack of cm-precision location technologies which are fast and affordable enough (<$80) when large scale production of autonomous vehicles happens in the next years (4-5 years). In addition, the car industry needs high levels of safety and security in order to comply with ISO 26262 requirements. Our objective is to produce a GNSS receiver that will comply with all these requirements.
The first period of the project has been to do the following activities:

- Benchmark analysis of current GNSS receivers in the market
- Definition of MVP capabilities and architecture
- Initial cooperation agreements with partners

The benchmark analysis performed on all major GNSS receivers has provided with the needed features that the Albora GNSS receiver should have in order to be competitive in the market.

The definition of the MVP has considered all the features that have other potential competitors in the market, such as, multi-constellation, multi-frequency, RTK and PPP capabilities, IMU for dead reckoning, vehicle-to-vehicle communication as well as vehicle-to-infrastructure, and also including 5G and Wi-Fi connections.

We have worked initial cooperation with several companies, such as been offered office space in Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Venture offices, and have been accepted into the Wayra’s Intelligent Mobility acceleration program to have access to a long list of partners wiling to test our technology such as Hyundai, Network Rail, or Transport Systems Catapult.
The progress beyond the state-of-the-art is that Albora uses a reconfigurable FPGA chip to produce a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receiver software using state-of-the-art technology to provide an accurate, safe and secure position for Connected Autonomous Vehicles capable of:

- Capable of picking up multiple satellite constellations (GPS, Galileo, Glonass and Beidou) at multiple frequencies using state-of-the-art technologies for centimeter accuracy in location (PPP and RTK).
- Achieving orders of magnitude quicker satellite acquisition (faster Time-To-First-Fix) with high sensitivity in difficult signal environments (e.g. urban canyons in cities) critical for multi-path mitigation.
- Incorporating high-level integrity monitoring algorithm, developed by one of our team members while in university, and security through authentication in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity.

We expect that our product will provide affordable GNSS capabilities to number of industries, including unmanned vehicles, including autonomous vehicles, drones and IoT devices among others.

During this project Albora Technologies has grown its employee base to 17 engineers, of which 13 are based in the EU, contributing to the creation of highly skilled jobs.