Motion-tracking IC implements dead-reckoning navigation for cars, without GPS

February 10, 2014 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Swiss company u-blox has introduced an IC for advanced in-dash navigation, emergency call such as eCall and ERA-GLONASS, usage-based insurance (UBI), road-pricing, and stolen vehicle recovery systems.

The UBX-M8030-Kx-DR chip integrates 3D ADR technology (3D Automotive Dead Reckoning), which enables it to calculate a vehicle’s position, speed, as well as elevation in areas of poor or no satellite visibility, a common scenario in high-density urban environments, stacked highways, or parking garages.

“Drivers expect car navigation systems to be fast, accurate, and work everywhere, regardless of satellite visibility. As cities expand, construction of more tunnels, multi-level overpasses and park garages is increasing. Our solution meets this challenge head-on; regardless of satellite visibility, our 3D ADR chip shows movement in three dimensions to maintain continuous and accurate positioning in tunnels, stacked highways, multi-level or underground parking facilities.” said Thomas Nigg, VP Product Marketing at u‑blox.

The technology aids traditional GNSS navigation systems such as GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou by blending them with individual wheel speed, gyroscope and accelerometer information to maintain accurate 3D positioning even when satellite signals are completely lost.

The UBX-M8030-Kx-DR chip is self-calibrating to compensate for sensor aging and temperature effects. It is compatible with virtually all vehicles and drive trains (i.e., front-, rear-, all-wheel drive), and supports a variety of sensor combinations. Sensor information can be derived from the vehicle’s sensors for the most cost-efficient implementation, or from external sensors for after-market solutions. The chip is AEC-Q100 qualified and is produced in ISO/TS Automotive certified production sites.

The chip requires minimum host integration or customisation resulting in no risk, low cost, and fast time-to-market. Installation is uncritical thanks to automated software calibration. 3D ADR is claimed to be accurate even at low speeds.

The chip allows for easy testing, simple and modular production set-up, and minimal BOM. It comes in a 40-pin QFN package measuring 5 x 5 mm and includes I 2C, SPI, UART and USB interfaces.

u-Blox; www.u-blox.com

A u-blox 3D ADR whitepaper PDF is also available .