U-Blox module keeps track of e-scooters

  • November 22, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Swiss firm U-Blox has announced a positioning module that uses inertial sensors to deliver metre-level GNSS accuracy for fleet management and micromobility applications such as e-scooters.

The Neo-M9V provides both untethered dead reckoning (UDR) and automotive dead reckoning (ADR) for metre-level positioning accuracy even in difficult signal environments such as urban canyons.

Vehicle fleet managers seeking to cut costs and lower their carbon footprint depend on accurate positioning and navigation data to reduce fuel consumption. Additionally, accurate odometry data is key to fleet managers for billing and compliance.

Micromobility operators need to locate their devices accurately to service the individual bikes and scooters, as locating vehicles on the wrong side of a street can force drivers to make long detours to reach their intended destination, incurring additional cost, lowering service quality and polluting the air. Accurate positioning is also vital to geofence their operation in compliance with local regulations.

Using inertial sensor measurements, UDR offers a smooth navigation experience in dense urban environments by bridging gaps in GNSS signal coverage and mitigating the impact of multipath effects caused by GNSS signals that bounce off buildings. ADR further increases positioning accuracy in demanding environments by including the vehicle speed in the sensor fusion algorithm.

Offering both UDR and ADR on the same module increases positioning performance and design flexibility.

The module also has dynamic models optimised for cars and e-scooters. By adapting the algorithms of the dead reckoning to the behaviour of these use cases, these dynamic models further increase the quality of the position reading.

Based on the firm’s M9 technology platform, the modules can track up to four GNSS constellations increasing the number of GNSS satellites within its line of sight at any given moment. Integrated SAW and LNA filters offer interference mitigation for more robustness, accelerating product design and shortening time to market. And compatibility with the Neo form factor reduces migration efforts for those upgrading existing designs.

“We expect customers to immediately recognise the value the Neo-M9V delivers,” said Mathias Vetter, principal product manager at U-Blox. “Tailored to the needs of industrial markets, the module offers a fast time to market with increased design flexibility and reliable metre-level positioning performance right where it matters most, in urban centres.”

First samples of the Neo-M9V will be available soon.

With headquarters in Thalwil, Switzerland, U-Blox has offices in Europe, Asia and the USA.