Freedom to reimagine: How “out-of-the-box” thinking is solving autonomous challenges

The Autonomy & Positioning Innovation Summit at HxGN LIVE Global 2023 showcases key innovations that are solving challenges on (and off!) the road to an autonomous and sustainable future.

The word “innovative” or phrase “out-of-the box” is often used to describe the type of thinking needed to solve difficult challenges — particularly in technology-based industries. But what does this really mean in practice and how can we foster collaborative innovation?

Adam Stelzner

As chief engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the Mars 2020 and Rover Perseverance missions, Adam Steltzner is no stranger to challenges. Presenting this year’s Autonomy & Positioning Innovation Summit plenary session, Steltzner will discuss the technical and collaborative challenges that go hand in hand with developing solutions that are novel and defy convention. He will explore the challenges of balancing innovation and reliability as he tells the story of breakthrough collaboration wrapped in the tale of putting spacecraft on Mars.

Much like the varied challenges posed by space exploration, innovating in the field of autonomy to enhance safety, productivity and sustainability poses multiple overlapping as well as unique challenges depending on the industry and application. Below we highlight some of the specific challenges faced by developers of autonomous systems that will be explored throughout the Autonomy & Positioning Innovation Summit sessions.

Road train in a desert

Challenge: Enhancing safety and productivity in mining

In a cross-divisional panel with Hexagon’s Autonomy & Positioning and Mining divisions, hear how autonomous road trains are being deployed for hauling and transportation to enhance safety and productivity for mining. Industry experts will discuss the business case for deploying autonomy, the technologies enabling autonomous trucks and the ways safety is enhanced with automated systems.

Road train in a desert

Off-road unmanned robotics face perception and localisation challenges, especially when platooning a fleet together. Image courtesy of Rheinmetall Provectus Robotics.

Challenge: Navigating unknown terrain in off-road autonomy

Off-road autonomy poses its own unique set of challenges, particularly when it comes to perception and localisation. No two environments are the same and terrain is often unknown, harsh and unforgiving. In a case study presentation, hear directly from Rheinmetall Provectus, a company solving the challenges associated with navigating off-road terrain for autonomous military platooning.

autonomous tractor

There needs to be a unique suite of sensors leveraging alternative navigation technologies for autonomy to work safely off-road.

Challenge: Leveraging alternative navigation technologies for safe autonomy

Alternative navigation (Alt-Nav) technologies put data to work to build the safety, integrity and resiliency of autonomous operations. Learn from experts at Hexagon about Alt-Nav strategies and testing results showing how technologies like RADAR, LiDAR and V2X (Vehicle to Everything) enhance sensor fusion to develop safer autonomous platforms.

Satellite for observing aurora borealis in Earth orbit, measuring the flow of sun particles, the solar wind. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

Ionospheric activity is a natural occurrence between the Sun’s rays and Earth’s ionosphere. However, this activity can disrupt GNSS positioning and threaten the safe operations of autonomous navigation systems.

Challenge: Mitigating ionospheric activity for autonomous systems

Ionospheric activity is a constant factor in positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) technologies. Though concentrated along the equator, it can cause havoc on your PNT and autonomous systems worldwide. Learn how to identify, mitigate and build resilience against this constant threat, regardless of where your autonomous system operates.

promo text for HxGN LIVE Global 2023


These are just a few of the challenges — and solutions — that will be presented at the Autonomy & Positioning Innovation Summit during HxGN LIVE Global 2023. The summit offers attendees the tools and expertise to invent the future of autonomy, from optimising off-road unmanned operations to supporting safe autonomy. It will explore the combination of positioning and perception technologies to promote safety and efficiency in agriculture, mining and construction.

Be sure to join us in Las Vegas, NV June 12-15 to reimagine the future of autonomy.

Register now for HxGN LIVE Global 2023.

Maria Meijer

Maria Meijer is the Global Marketing Specialist, Technical Content at Hexagon’s Autonomy & Positioning division based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Maria brings over 14 years of marketing and content experience at innovative B2B companies where she has created technical, product and thought leadership collateral for diverse industries including energy, power, SaaS and education. Maria holds an MSc in Genetics and Cell Biology from Washington State University.