Trimble deploys customisable positioning system for autonomous vehicles

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Trimble, a global positioning solution leader, has announced the first deployment of its map-based localisation system for land-based autonomous vehicle applications. IHI Corporation, a heavy industry manufacturer based in Japan, will retrofit its existing container and haulage trucks with a customised Applanix POS LV system as part of its broader autonomy capabilities for the transport of goods around industrial facilities.

Map-based localisation provides precise positioning and orientation estimation, augmenting GNSS/inertial data, which is critical for safe and efficient autonomous vehicle operations. The ability to provide IHI Corporation a full workflow and real-time data ensures seamless integration into IHI’s truck design.

The custom-built, locally supported system leverages Trimble’s innovative engineering capabilities and technology to provide reliable performance across a variety of challenging environments. Using this system, IHI Corporation can provide robust positioning for their autonomous fleet without additional site infrastructure, lowering capital expenditure (CAPEX) costs and improving scalability.

Tailoring POS LV to work within IHI’s unique specifications and existing autonomous platform, the map-based localisation system couples an inertial navigation system (INS) with simultaneous localisation and mapping-based (SLAM) capabilities, and works with several types of sensors, including LiDAR for IHI. POS LV provides an accurate base map using post-processed data and localises vehicle positioning in real-time, enabling the reliable and safe autonomous operation of industrial vehicles.

IHI continually enhances its work environments, while also compensating for varying labour scenarios and personnel shortages. This makes the need to automate transportation critical to operations. The complexities of the evolving industrial manufacturing environment require solutions that can be tailored to a customer’s specific application requirements. By partnering with Trimble, IHI can develop a retrofit system that addresses two major challenges—affordability and consistent reliability—within the autonomous operation of large-scale industrial equipment. Customers such as IHI rely on Trimble to create autonomous solutions that enable them to meet their strategic goals no matter where they are on their journey to autonomy.

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Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as ivtinternational.com. He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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