Drones set to benefit from enhanced satellite surveillance with pinpoint accuracy says Vodafone

Vodafone has successfully used new precision positioning technology to remotely track a vehicle to within just 10 centimetres of its location, an improvement of more than three metres compared with current standard satellite-based systems.  It did this in partnership with leading global positioning provider Sapcorda, using Vodafone’s global Internet of Things (IoT) platform – which has 118 million connections.

Pinpoint accuracy is critical to the acceptance and mass adoption of autonomous vehicles not just on the road but in factories, airports, dockyards and any site where machines are in motion. A matter of centimetres could be crucial to knowing the precise location of a medical drone or for first responders to know the precise locations of medical delivery drones carrying supplies, such as blood.

Justin Shields, Vodafone Business Platforms and Solutions Director said: “What we can do now is take new digital services like this one, integrate it with our global IoT platform and fast networks, and offer it securely at scale to many millions of customers.

“Our in-building 5G and IoT services already allow manufacturing plants, research laboratories and factories to carry out critical, and often hazardous, precision work with robots. Now we are applying the same levels of accuracy to the outdoor world.”

Vodafone believes large businesses will greatly benefit from such enhanced location technology, whether it is used for precisely aligning driverless trains at platforms, for example, or tracking autonomous vehicles used in agriculture, aviation and fleet logistics.

Vodafone’s IoT platform coupled with Sapcorda’s comprehensive network of Global Navigation System Service (GNSS) receivers and augmentation technology, corrects inaccuracies caused by the curvature of the earth, the atmosphere, and clock differences of global positioning satellites, for example.

The improved location tech, combined with video and on-board diagnostics, will also enable vehicle operators to carry out accurate inspections remotely and pause machines such as grass cutters on public footpaths when they encounter people.

Vodafone’s new Precise Positioning Service complements existing asset tracking and fleet telematics solutions that the company provides for its business customers across 54 countries.

(Image: Vodafone, Shutterstock)

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