“Navigate Anywhere”: How OxTS Integrates RoboSense to Deliver OEM-Trusted Navigation and Mapping Solutions

OxTS uses Robosense Helios sensor to help customers “navigate anywhere” by creating navigation systems that can perform in the harshest environments

In the ever-evolving landscape of automotive technology, global acceleration of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and intelligent vehicle solutions have become a global phenomenon. From cutting-edge sensors to artificial intelligence algorithms, the automotive industry is undergoing a transformative journey toward safer, more efficient, and intelligent mobility.

OxTS has teamed up with RoboSense to meet the needs of OEMs and Tier I suppliers as they improve their perception and navigation systems.

OxTS is an industry leader in high-precision positioning and localization solutions. Top automotive manufacturers around the world use OxTS global navigation satellite system (GNSS) / inertial navigation system (INS) devices to test the safety and reliability of ADAS and autonomous driving (AD) features.

We speak with Jonathan Deacon, Product Manager of OxTS, to learn more about how their technology works and how they are expanding into new industries.

Q. We understand that OxTS’s technology is expanding into new fields. Can you tell me a little bit about the evolution of the company?
Jonathan Deacon: OxTS was founded by two Oxford University graduates in 1998 and, very quickly, our inertial navigation solutions became the product of choice for vehicle testing around the world.

In the years that followed, new products and software solutions were added to our portfolio. These include RT-Range, which helps vehicle manufacturers measure the range between vehicles and other targets such as infrastructure and lane markings. RT-Range is used by more than 120 vehicle manufacturers, proving grounds, and new car assessment program (NCAP) test facilities around the world for validating ADAS systems.

Today, OxTS hardware and software applications have expanded from ADAS testing and validation to autonomous vehicle navigation and mapping. Our continually evolving georeferencing capabilities allow us to calibrate sensors, create precise point clouds and improve GNSS-denied navigation systems.

Q: How are you helping to advance your customer’s solutions?
Jonathan Deacon: At OxTS, we have the expertise to help our customers “navigate anywhere” by creating navigation systems that can perform in the harshest environments. Our solutions couple our deep industry-leading knowledge of inertial systems with newer technologies such as RoboSense’s lidar.

Our approach is sensor fusion, in which we see lidar as a key technology. Different sensors collect distinct data, and customers need support to integrate the most valuable information into their systems to enable safe and reliable navigation systems. We accomplish this through our OxTS Generic Aiding Data (GAD) interface. GAD provides a simple data structure that our INS navigation engine understands. This allows customers to incorporate the most important outputs from the complementary perception technologies they use, such as simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), into their central navigation engine (OxTS INS) to improve performance in GNSS-constrained areas.

One example of this is that we are enabling our customers to confidently move ADAS testing from proving grounds to the open road, using data from other sensor technology, to overcome the challenges associated with GNSS signal disruption. This can happen in places like urban canyons, where the street is flanked by buildings on both sides, creating a canyon-like environment. As noted, we are also extending these solutions to our mapping customers to further boost point cloud accuracy.

Q. How are you incorporating RoboSense’s lidar into your products?

Jonathan Deacon: OxTS leverages the RoboSense Ruby Plus, Helios, Bpearl and M Platform sensors in two distinct software solutions:

1. Earlier, I mentioned our GAD interface. One of the first features of our GAD is the OxTS LiDAR Inertial Odometry (LIO) software, which can be added to any OxTS device. LIO uses raw data from RoboSense lidar sensors to provide the INS navigation engine with a velocity update. This helps constrain position drift and minimize initial measurement unit (IMU) errors, which occur in the absence of GNSS and becomes more pronounced the longer GNSS is unavailable. By constraining position drift, users of OxTS LIO will benefit from better navigation data and more accurate point clouds in GNSS-denied environments. With this solution, ADAS test engineers can trust their vehicle position, enabling confident testing of new ADAS features exactly where they will be used – out on the open road.

2. OxTS Georeferencer is a software suite that offers two key benefits: Firstly, the Boresight Calibration Tool aligns the coordinate frames between a RoboSense lidar sensor and your INS. This alignment enhances perception accuracy in relation to an autonomous or survey vehicle. It will also eliminate blurring and double vision from any subsequent point clouds you create.

The second key benefit of OxTS Georeferencer is its ability to enable quick and simple georeferencing of RoboSense lidar data to create a precise point cloud using both OxTS and third-party INS devices. In the past, users would have to engineer their own software to georeference lidar data, adding additional complexity and time to a project. Now, they have a straightforward solution.

RoboSense’s sensors are easily paired with OxTS products, ensuring accuracy while saving time and effort

Q: Why did you choose RoboSense’s sensors for your solutions

Jonathan Deacon: RoboSense's lidar sensors were a natural choice to integrate with OxTS technology. RoboSense is a leader in its field and is particularly well known in the ADAS and autonomy industries. RoboSense’s sensors are easily paired with OxTS products, ensuring accuracy while saving time and effort, which customers have come to expect from OxTS when building their solutions.

As a leading provider of navigation solutions to these industries ourselves, it made sense to work more closely with RoboSense to ensure our mutual customers benefit from our shared expertise. OxTS and RoboSense represent the perfect dovetailing of technological capability.

Q. What’s next for your company?

Jonathan Deacon: Our goal is continuous improvement in our ability to help our customers receive accurate position data in difficult and GNSS-denied spaces. We’ll also be working on enabling real-time applications that require global precision accuracy as well as releasing new hardware devices and software features to help our customers “navigate anywhere.”

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Visit the OxTS partner page, fearturing RoboSense here.

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