Oxbotica, a UK-based autonomous vehicle software company, and Navtech, a global leader in radar solutions, have announced their plans to jointly develop a new system that will enable customers to deploy autonomy in both on- and off-road locations, whatever the weather conditions, where standard GPS and lidar coverage is not possible.
Multi-Module Localization System
The two companies are developing what they refer to as a multi-module localization system made up of radar, vision, and laser, which allows customers to deploy autonomy more easily.
The product will not be reliant on any external infrastructure and can operate as a standalone solution or be used in tandem with other location services that are driven by GPS, lidar, laser, or a combination thereof, as part of Oxbotica’s commitment to a module and integrated approach to solutions provision.
Oxbotica has already successfully tested its proprietary algorithms in a wide range of conditions and environments as part of its wider full-stack autonomy solution. The company plans to pair this with Navtech’s expertise in bringing to market-leading autonomy sensors around the world in order to create the multi-module localization system.
Navtech’s CEO, Phil Avery, said, “Navtech are delighted to be working with Oxbotica on this project. Despite the potential of radar very few companies have successfully developed the necessary algorithms to use it properly. Oxbotica are world leaders in this area and together with our high performance radars sensors we believe the resulting system will deliver a step change in the performance available for all weather all environment localisation and perception.
An Oxbotica autonomous vehicle. Image Credit: Oxbotica.
Bringing Autonomy to Off-Road Domains
This partnership and its subsequent development will represent the latest in radar-based technology, an area where more innovation is greatly needed in order to make self-driving cars and more advanced specialist industrial vehicles a reality. It also marks an important milestone in Oxbotica’s own plans to take its software from development to deployment.
Oxbotica’s CEO, Ozgur Tohumcu, said, “This collaboration with Navtech is a key milestone in bringing autonomy especially to off-road domains such as mines, ports, or airports where existing lidar or GPS may not function effectively due to weather or operating conditions such as dust, rain, or snow.”
The partnership between Oxbotica and Navtech was originally announced in July 2019. At the time, Oxbotica said that their partnership would create a solution that has the potential to transform industries, improve efficiencies and safety, and grow bottom lines by enabling the deployment of autonomous vehicles (AV) in any environment and under any conditions.
Now that their solution is earmarked for launch this year, we will soon see whether these promises hold true.