Innovation That Matters

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Game-changing navigation for automated vehicles

Mobility & Transport

The tech helps drones and vehicles accurately navigate without GPS

Spotted: The autonomous vehicle (AV) industry is exploding at the moment and is expected to be worth over $13.6 trillion by the end of the decade. However, a major drawback of these vehicles is that their navigation and guidance systems rely on sensors and GPS that can become confused or disconnected, especially in poor weather conditions and remote or rugged terrain. Now, One Silicone Chip Photonics (OSCP) wants to change that.

The Canada-based company has produced an inertial optical system that could transform the way automated vehicles and drones navigate. Typically, these technologies use a range of sensors to help them travel through an environment, including cameras, LiDAR, radar, and GPS. However, environmental factors like fog or dirt on the camera can quickly interfere with the sensors’ accuracy.

Instead, OSCP’s motion sensors use Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) and Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) technology to measure the acceleration and rotation of an object, enabling extremely accurate navigation even when GPS isn’t available. Compared with similar systems, OSCP’s technology is much lower cost and still matches the accuracy of navigation sensors used in aerospace.

OSCP has partnered up with Thales so the organisation can test its technology on autonomous railways and, if successful, the system could boost rail capacity and cut energy usage. The technology could also be used to transform the potential of drones and AVs across agriculture, environmental data collection, defence, delivery services, and more.

Recently, OSCP received $1.2 million from 7percent Ventures and 2050 Capitol, adding to previous grants of over $4 million. The company is using the latest funding to grow and accelerate the scalability of its technology.

Written By: Archie Cox



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