Verizon Intros ‘Hyper-precise’ Positioning In US For Intelligent Driving, Advanced IoT


By James Blackman

Verizon has introduced a new ‘hyper-precise location’ (HPL) service that uses ‘real-time kinematics’ (RTK) to deliver satellite-based location with centimetre-level accuracy. The HPL service is available via Verizon’s ThingSpace’s IoT platform to business customers and application developers using its 4G and 5G cellular networks in the US.

It is geared towards intelligent driving and advanced IoT applications, Verizon said. The company has recently teamed up with Japanese car maker Honda to test how edge-based 5G might ensure reliable connectivity between road infrastructure, vehicles, and pedestrians. The pair are working at the University of Michigan’s Mcity, a test bed for connected and autonomous vehicles, on the project, with a view to “reducing collisions and saving lives”.

The work bundles HPL into the bargain, alongside Verizon’s 5G and multi-access edge compute (MEC) offers, and Honda’s SAFE SWARM automotive safety platform, which uses cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) to share data about the location and speed of traffic, as well as other vehicle sensor data. Verizon is also developing HPL-based road safety and driving solutions with location and mapping expert HERE Technologies and software company Renovo.

RTK uses carrier-based ranging and provides ranges (and positions) that are orders of magnitude more precise than those available through code-based positioning. Verizon said RTK corrects standard global navigation satellite system (GNSS) positional data, to improve accuracy from meters to centimetres. Its HPL service enables positioning for location-sensitive 5G-based C-V2X and 5G-based industrial IoT applications “in real time [and] at vast scale and low cost”, it said.

It said in a statement: “HPL is software as-a-service that provides a stream of real-time GNSS correction data to device receivers, enabling location accuracy within 1-2 centimetres, for users on 5G and 4G networks. This can enable high-scale, low-cost, centimetre-level location capabilities for industries such as automotive, high-definition mapping, robotics, construction, and smart agriculture.”

The technology is also useful for delivery drones, industrial infrastructure monitoring, critical asset tracking, and high value shipping, Verizon said.

HPL uses open delivery standards, including RTCM for its data streams, with others to be added, and does not store or share user location data. IoT devices using HPL can be accessed and managed through a user API and the ThingSpace IoT management platform. Support resources on ThingSpace detail API integration, coverage availability.

Senior vice president of industrial IoT and automotive for Verizon Business, TJ Fox said: “HPL stands to boost or enable next-gen technologies across industries, from intelligent-driving to drone delivery to highly automated operations within construction, agriculture, and much more. HPL’s fast expanding coverage area, API friendliness, privacy protection, and use of open-delivery standards make it ideal for developers and customers demanding precision and flexibility.”

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