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High-level autonomous solutions require a high-level enablement partner to take you the distance

The time to scrutinize your choice is before any work begins

In this blog, Trimble Autonomy Automotive Technical Marketing Manager Paola Gonzalez shares some highlights from a recent webinar offered in conjunction with Wards Automotive. If you’re interested in how to ensure that you select the right road to navigate toward your autonomous destination, this two-minute read is for you.

Positioning has come a long way in recent decades, and it’s key for any autonomous positioning partner to not only be at the forefront of this disruptive tech, but also have been around long enough to appreciate the latest advancements:

  • Yesterday — navigation was basic, with the expectation to direct a driver to a generalized location, like Starbucks. We relied on GPS plus early mapping, inertial and dead reckoning capabilities. 

  • Today — driver assistance technologies provide higher levels of accuracy to meet growing safety-critical needs. Where meter accuracy was able to locate which lane a person was in, we look to cameras, radar, precise maps, V2X, GNSS, precise positioning and correction services to bridge that gap down to centimeters — with more reliance on integrity monitoring in corrections, and protection levels within a positioning engine.

  • Tomorrow — autonomy requires the capability for a vehicle to know not just what lane it’s in, but where in the lane it is, using LiDAR, IMU, and advanced sensors with GNSS and precision corrections to achieve absolute positioning accuracy.

Be selective in choosing your autonomous partner

Your autonomous partner should come to the table with extensive autonomous vehicle expertise and a proven reputation for providing reliable advanced positioning technologies to connect today’s customers with the “what, where and why” as it relates to autonomy. For instance:

  • Modeling — design, planning, visualization, cost and operations — the “what”

  • Positioning and sensing, the capture and utilization of data by location — the “where”

  • Analytics and optimization, providing predictive indicators and decision support — the “why”

The “what” calls for proof points, and that’s where you should expect your partner to be able to illustrate successful partnerships and solutions that have actually been brought to market. Any tech provider should have plenty to back up their claims, and an even longer list of unique patents. It’s also critical to ensure your partner has domain expertise in your area. Lots of it. And a collaborative approach that puts you in the driver’s seat during the entire process.

The “where” is where the gravy is, and you want proof of tech that gets the job done and answers all the challenges today’s industries are facing. Like positioning capabilities down to 10 cm, and a corrections service with global reach, without needing a base station. Beyond that, it’s critical to ensure your partner has not only enough resources to prioritize your project, but also wide-reaching specialty areas with a pool of engineers who eat, sleep and breathe sensor fusion and other advanced positioning technologies. 

The “why” refers to the data, workflow and optimization analytics that enable the customer’s expected outcome. Enhanced decision making must be driven by a commitment to advanced analytics and optimization so that users and machines can perform optimally, and with reliable data. To ensure you’re in good hands, look for deep domain experience, successful solutions to show for it, and the integrity to provide guidance to take you from concept to completion.

Functional, safe and perfectly disruptive

It's important to ask the right questions and get all your answers so that you can avoid being sidelined by the consequences of lack of expertise, experience or foresight on your journey to autonomy. For a deeper understanding of what goes into a true autonomous partnership and how Trimble is positioned to take you from concept to completion, join me as I walk you through Trimble’s strengths in this video