Pozyx enables self-driving cars to park underground with UWB technology | Agoria

Pozyx enables self-driving cars to park underground with UWB technology

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Published on 04/06/21 by Ward Vleegen
The new technology UWB (Ultra-wideband) is a worldwide hit. Innovative applications are in the pipeline in both the manufacturing and automotive industries. After years of R&D, the Ghent-based Pozyx has launched a ready-to-use and user-friendly product, supported by some impressive practical cases.

UWB?

Founder Samuel Van de Velde did doctoral research on UWB), a new, wireless technology that transmits data at very low power over a wide frequency band. This ensures that UWB has low power consumption, passes easily through obstacles, and can measure accurately the distance between the source and the arrival of the signal.

"Localization in particular is a practical application of UWB today," says Pozyx Chief Commercial Officer Yves Ghys. "Current technologies often fall short in this respect: a GPS signal is unusable indoors, and Wi-Fi or Bluetooth are much less precise. A UWB signal is accurate to within 10 centimetres."

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Developing hardware and algorithms

Founded six years ago, Pozyx was one of the very first players in the world to fully commit to UWB technology. "The early years were all about R&D," explains Yves Ghys. "We spent the first few years developing algorithms and user-friendly hardware and software. This enabled us to design a very accessible system. Because we started so early, we were able to get a nice head start on the competition."

“We spent the first few years focusing on hardware development and on creating algorithms. This enabled us to design a very accessible system.” Yves Ghys, Chief Commercial Officer Pozyx

Localization

Pozyx focuses mainly on localization applications. The system consists of three components. "The Pozyx Tag can be attached to machines, pallets or tools, so you can trace these objects in a factory or warehouse, for instance. The signal from the tags is picked up by the Pozyx anchors at a number of fixed locations. The exact locations of the objects are then processed in real time to monitor, control and improve processes," explains Yves Ghys.

Autonomous parking

In addition to the manufacturing industry, the UWB technology also proved interesting in the automotive sector. This led to a cooperation with OxTS, a world player in testing in that sector. They perform tests with automatic brakes, parking sensors and cameras. Precise and reliable localization technology is an absolute must for self-driving cars.

"Such tests are usually done outdoors, for example at an airport," says Yves Ghys. "But the demand for indoor testing is growing. OxTS conducted a case study for Mira, a company that develops mobility technology. The challenge was to get a car to park on its own on a particular floor of a multi-level garage -- something that until recently was impossible because a GPS signal is disrupted indoors."

“The challenge was to get a car to park on its own on a particular floor of a multi-level garage – something that was impossible until recently, because a GPS signal gets disrupted indoors.” -  Yves Ghys, Pozyx Chief Commercial Officer

Own algorithm

Thanks to Pozyx's algorithms, the test hit the bull’s eye. "The great advantage of our technology is that the car is positioned very accurately with a very small margin of error," explains Yves Ghys. "Not only in relation to obstacles or road users, but also on the different floors. We can also trace which floor the car is on, something that other players cannot do. After the successful test, we will roll out the cooperation globally and offer our technology worldwide."

For more information, please go to www.pozyx.io 

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