HxGN BlogArticle

Positioning the Unmanned World

At Hexagon’s Autonomy & Positioning division, we have been focused on solving position for our customers in some of the most challenging applications for over 20 years. We solve position through a range of OEM positioning products from NovAtel aimed at system integrators in industries like survey and mapping, precision agriculture, construction and mining. Veripos products and services provide highly accurate and reliable positioning systems in offshore applications like deep-sea drilling and seismic exploration.

An interesting trend is emerging across these applications. Unmanned, autonomous, optionally piloted – whatever you call it, the movement is the same. The market drivers are sometimes efficiency, better use of capital equipment by optimizing operations, saving money and increasing output. Sometimes the driver is safety. Removing a driver from a system typically makes the system safer and operations can take place in areas where it is unsafe to have human operators. In some cases, such as with autonomous automobiles, both drivers apply.

System integrators are now looking at more than accuracy when “solving” position in their application – they are now considering safety in a way they never have. They ask questions like “How can I guarantee that I know where my vehicle is at all times?” and “How can I make sure my position is correct?” The stakes are high. When operating in populated areas, unmanned systems represent a threat – maybe a lethal one – if they are not positioned and controlled safely.

We at the Autonomy & Positioning division have our sights squarely on this challenge. Our next technological advances are set to revolutionize how positioning can be accurate and at the same time guaranteed to be safe. We have created a new team that is rethinking positioning from the ground up. Using our experience with highly reliable and safe positioning systems in the aviation and offshore oil and gas industries and in collaboration with some of the most respected institutions in academia we are solving the next challenges not only in the positioning industry, but in the autonomous vehicle industry, too.

This is the shape of progress. This is shaping smart change.