GNSS module enables lane accurate navigation in challenging environments

May 02, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
GNSS module enables lane accurate navigation in challenging environments
For automated driving at SAE levels 3 to 5, lane-accurate navigation is an indispensable ingredient. A new high-precision navigation module from Swiss manufacturer u-blox is now enabling such an exact navigation even in environments with limited or poor satellite signal reception. The secret of the new u-blox ZED-F9K module: It combines GNSS reception with dead reckoning through the signals from integrated inertial sensors – an approach hitherto restricted to relatively expensive cars that had access to car-based inertial sensors.

The ZED-F9K high precision dead reckoning module builds on the u‑blox F9 technology platform. Compatibility with modern Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) correction services further improves positioning accuracy by compensating ionospheric and other errors. The multi-band, multi-constellation RTK (Real Time Kinematics) receiver module receives GNSS signals from all orbiting GNSS constellations – including, by the way, Europe’s Galileo system as well as the respective American, Russian and Chinese satellite navigation systems. A greater number of visible satellites improves positioning performance in partially obstructed conditions, while increased satellite signal diversity delivers faster convergence times when signals are interrupted. 

Inertial sensors integrated into the module constantly monitor changes in the moving vehicle’s trajectory and continue to deliver lane accurate positioning when satellite signals are partially or completely obstructed as is the case when the vehicle is in parking garages, tunnels, urban canyons, or forested areas. When satellite signals become available again, the module combines inertial sensor data with GNSS signals to deliver fast convergence times and high availability of the decimeter-level solution.

The result of this combination of the latest developments in GNSS technology, correction services, and inertial sensing is a tenfold increase in positioning performance over standard precision solutions.

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