U-Blox deal improves accuracy of GNSS devices

  • December 9, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Swiss firm U-Blox has signed a deal with UK company Focal Point Positioning to integrate technology that will improve the accuracy and reliability of GNSS devices.

The aim is to enhance positioning performance and security for applications such as smart cities, location-secure IoT and health and fitness wearables.

Focal Point’s patented Supercorrelation technology solves a critical problems in GNSS caused by multipath interference. Multipath interference occurs when satellite signals bounce off buildings and landmarks, causing GNSS receivers to provide degraded positioning outputs. The result for users is that the blue dot on their phone or device may be in the wrong place, moving in the wrong direction, or may have a large error ellipse. For autonomous vehicles it could lead to positioning errors that place the vehicle in the wrong lane or worse.

Map plot from live tests in London of the route of a vehicle driven through Canary Wharf. It shows the difference between performance of the position provided by a standard smartphone GNSS chip (red line), and the same data run through Supercorrelation software (blue line).

The technology uses software to detect and reject reflected signals, resulting in an improvement in the performance of GNSS devices without the need for additional hardware or applications. Supercorrelation also helps with the detection and rejection of GNSS spoofing signals, an increasing concern for autonomous vehicles, ships and aviation.

“We are tremendously excited to be working alongside a market leader such as U-Blox,” said Focal Point Positioning CEO Ramsey Faragher. “Our mission is to improve every positioning system on the planet and we have taken a giant step forward in that vision with this deal. Positioning systems are so critical to our world, and we look forward to seeing the next generation of products and services that will be enabled by this higher level of accuracy, reliability and security.”

U-Blox CEO Thomas Seiler added: “The addition of Supercorrelation technology into our latest GNSS platforms is part of our continuing focus on low power consumption, higher accuracy and security for automotive, industrial and wearable GNSS applications.”

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

Focal Point Positioning was founded in 2015. The team includes alumni of the UK aerospace industry, European Space Agency, Cambridge University, Oxford University, UCL and Imperial College London. Investors include Passion Capital, IQ Capital, Cambridge Angels, Rockspring Nominees, Cambridge Innovation Capital and Demis Hassabis.