Sensor array facilitates highly accurate navigation

11th November 2014
Barney Scott

u-blox has introduced the NEO-M8L Automotive Dead Reckoning (ADR) module with integrated motion, direction and elevation sensors. The module integrates a gyroscope and an accelerometer with u‑blox’ leading GNSS platform M8, to achieve a high-performance indoor/outdoor positioning solution, available for all road vehicle and high-accuracy navigation applications.

In addition to accessing the integrated module’s gyro and accelerometer data, accident reconstruction systems can provide the location of an accident to facilitate insurance claims even if a collision occurs in a tunnel or park house. High-end navigation devices are able to guide drivers through tunnels of several miles thanks to the unsurpassed accuracy of u-blox’ ADR system. Stolen vehicles can be located instantaneously due to continuous monitoring of sensor data and storage of location in non-volatile memory.

The extremely compact module, measuring only 12.2x16.0x2.5mm, requires minimum host integration, resulting in no risk, low cost, and fast time-to-market design. With uncritical orientation of the installed module, odometer function and autonomous data logging, it is claimed to be the first all-in-one solution for all road vehicle applications requiring reliable and uninterrupted position in challenging environments such as urban canyons, tunnels and underground parking.

The NEO-M8L embeds u-blox’ 3D Automotive Dead Reckoning (3D ADR) chip technology. Using the vehicle’s speed information and module’s onboard sensors enables accurate positioning in 3D even when satellite signals are completely lost and the end-device installation is not horizontal. An odometer function, based on the ADR technology, also provides accurate and continuous distance travelled.

The module is able to track all visible GNSS satellites including GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, QZSS and all SBAS (European’s Galileo in future firmware version). Concurrent reception of two GNSS systems is supported. The module can output a position up to 20 times per second.

“Devices for usage-based insurance, stolen vehicle recovery, road pricing, fleet management, emergency services and vehicle navigation depend on reliable, uninterrupted positioning including tunnels, park houses and stacked highways,” explains Thomas Nigg, Vice President, Product Strategy, u-blox. “The NEO-M8L is the ideal solution for all road vehicle based applications, able to calculate a position in all circumstances based on its own internal sensors, regardless of satellite visibility and end-device orientation.”

The NEO-M8L module will be demonstrated at the u-blox stand (A4.219) at electronica.

Samples and evaluation kit EVK-M8L will be available in December 2014.

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