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Applanix and University of Waterloo collaborate on advanced guidance and control technologies for autonomous vehicles

Applanix, a Trimble Company, is collaborating on advanced research for autonomous vehicle guidance and control systems with the University of Waterloo Center for Automotive Research (WatCAR). Applanix will provide WatCAR with its Positioning and Orientation System (POS) for testing autonomous guidance and control systems in real-world conditions. Applanix will also provide the Trimble GNSS-Inertial board set for integration with car systems and sensors to enable precise positioning.

WatCAR will use Applanix technology to assess the performance of the guidance and control systems on board their autonomous vehicles. This testing will take place in challenging weather conditions and environments including on roads under repair, with lane reductions and closures, are wet or covered in snow, and where there is poor visibility.

Applanix will also provide WatCAR with Trimble on-board GNSS-Inertial board set designed for high-performance, high-volume Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) applications. These products, currently used in a variety of autonomous vehicle programs, include the Trimble AP GNSS-Inertial board set that includes a high-precision Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). Small, rugged and low-powered, the AP board sets provide the precise positioning needed for autonomous vehicle applications as they navigate their environment.

Suited for use on all sizes and types of vehicles, the AP boards feature Trimble’s high-performance precision GNSS receivers and Applanix’ industry-leading IN-Fusion GNSS-Inertial integrated technology that produces uninterrupted position, roll, pitch and true heading measurements of moving platforms.

Applanix’ expertise in these autonomous technologies is part of a broader Trimble solutions portfolio for automation and vehicle autonomy, which began more than three decades ago. Trimble has a history of using automation to improve safety and productivity—from pioneering automated blade control for earthmoving and providing positioning solutions for some of the earliest robotic applications in the 1990s to delivering automated steering for farmers and providing positioning technology for fully autonomous off- and on-highway trucks.

In addition, Trimble further enables high-accuracy solutions by leveraging its global infrastructure to deliver GNSS corrections to support autonomous operations globally. The relationship with WatCAR will aid in improving the core technologies that deliver high-end systems capabilities for a variety of Trimble markets.


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