Does the key to autonomous driving lie below the ground?

Ground Positioning Radar creates a 3D map of the road’s subsurface, resulting in a precise positioning platform for vehicles. By Megan Lampinen

Many of today’s advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) draw on software, sensors, and perception systems to assist with or take over driving in certain situations. However, accuracy can be impacted by inclement weather like heavy rain or snow as well as faded or absent lane markings. The problem becomes even more critical as the industry prepares for driverless vehicles, which will rely entirely on these systems.

One company believes the solution is to add ground-penetrating radar capability to the mix. The technology involves mapping the road structure beneath a vehicle. Because this sub-structure is unique and stable, vehicles can use it to find their position regardless of the road or environmental conditions above ground. US-based company GPR (formerly WaveSense) has developed a Ground Positioning Radar (GPR) system that is fitted underneath a vehicle’s chassis and uses magnetic radiation to measure reflection. Tarik Bolat, Chief Executive of GPR, describes it as the world’s most precise and reliable positioning platform for highly automated and autonomous vehicles (AVs).

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