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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Hexagon Positioning Intelligence to Acquire AutonomouStuff for Autonomous Vehicle Development

 
December 5th, 2018 by Susan Smith

Autonomous vehicle development is front and center in the news these days, with geospatial companies working hard to provide the autonomous technology necessary to populate the world’s highways with safe, responsive robotic vehicles. This technology is also a part of the greater vision for resilient or “smart” cities, as new cities are created or revamped and the desire is to incorporate self-driving vehicles into the fabric of the new infrastructure.

Hexagon’s Positioning Intelligence division (Hexagon PI) announced the intention to acquire AutonomouStuff once the acquisition is completed, an announcement made by Hexagon AB. The addition of AutonomouStuff to Hexagon PI will boost collaboration between the organizations to provide superior solutions for autonomous vehicle development.

“Combined with Hexagon PI’s leadership in high accuracy, functionally-safe and high-integrity positioning technology, the addition of AutonomouStuff and their offerings is helping our customers to accelerate the development of more comprehensive Autonomous X solutions,” said Michael Ritter, President and CEO of Hexagon PI. “Our expanded capabilities will allow Hexagon PI to meet the industry’s ever growing demand for more robust autonomy solutions.”

Hexagon PI has maintained the role of  technology provider to AutonomouStuff for several years, and the two organizations have served common customers and collaborated on important industry events. As the division grows, AutonomouStuff will continue to function as an independent brand within Hexagon PI. Founded in 2010, U.S.-based AutonomouStuff is pioneering solutions and platforms for autonomous vehicle development, robotics and data intelligence innovation. Its platforms utilize an expansive portfolio of technologies, that are deployed in pilot programs worldwide, representing thousands of customers in the automotive and technology sectors across the globe.

Bobby Hambrick, CEO & founder, AutonomouStuff, spoke with GISCafe Voice about the upcoming acquisition of AutonomouStuff by Hexagon.

What are the technologies that are in the AutonomouStuff portfolio?

AutonomouStuff provides a wide variety of technologies that help enable autonomous driving. These include, but are not limited to, perception sensors (LiDAR, radar, cameras), GNSS, computing platforms, by-wire enabled research platforms, software and integration services and more. You can learn more by visiting www.AutonomouStuff.com

What are the particular challenges posed by autonomous vehicle development?

Automated vehicles present many challenges since the applications and environments are essentially unlimited. Humans are naturally able to quickly perceive the dynamic environment, comprehend the scenario and react accordingly. This isn’t so easy for general computing. This is why artificial intelligence has become such a critical component to the deployment of automated driving. Traditionally, processing bandwidth and component costs have also been significant barriers to automated vehicle deployment, but that is changing quickly as well. In addition to the technologies, there are plenty of legislative challenges.

How will the acquisition of AutonomouStuff further the potential of data generated by IoT?

AutonomouStuff enables the entire global autonomous ecosystem toward autonomy. Each autonomous vehicle creates between 20-30TB of data a day generated by its on-board sensors. This data coming from these automated vehicles, in a way, is very similar to the data being collected from smart phones. We all know how valuable mobile phone data has become.

When can we expect to see Hexagon products arise from this acquisition?

AutonomouStuff and NovAtel, part of Hexagon’s Positioning Intelligence division, have worked together for several years on many common opportunities. We will continue to work together to explore opportunities and enhance our presence in the market. Collaboration between the teams is perfectly complementary and opportunities to further develop our partnership are constantly emerging.

Does Hexagon share some customers in common with AutonomouStuff currently?

AutonomouStuff has serviced thousands of customers since it’s foundation in 2010. The Hexagon teams share many common customers and have experienced great collaboration in the past and will continue, even more so, in the future.

Will the AutonomouStuff staff move to Hexagon or remain in place, or be replaced?

AutonomouStuff will continue to operate as an independent entity while also taking advantage of Hexagon’s infrastructure and strength across the globe. I fully expect the acquisition to fuel future growth.

Is there a vision to look beyond autonomous vehicles on land to perhaps using this technology in space vehicles?

The technology being developed for automated land vehicles is moving at a pace of innovation unlike ever seen before. There will be plenty of opportunities to re-purpose the results into many different applications.

AutonomouStuff provides  R&D platforms,products, software and engineering services for the advancement of robotics and autonomy. The top priority for the team at AutonomouStuff is customer success. AutonomouStuff offers one-stop cutting edge modular-based automation software solutions, engineering services, perception, computing, GPS and interface components that are reliable, flexible and convenient.

Hexagon’s Positioning Intelligence division is a global technology leader, pioneering end-to-end solutions for assured positioning for land, sea, and air. Its solutions power intelligent positioning ecosystems in vital industries and safety-of-life applications, enabling the advancement of the Autonomous X (cars, UAVs, industrial vehicles, trains, vessels, and more).

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Categories: 3D Cities, air pollution, aircraft tracking, analytics, asset management, autonomous driving, autonomous vehicles, Big Data, citizen science, cloud, data, disaster relief, emergency response, field GIS, geospatial, GIS, global aircraft surveillance, Google Maps Engine, government, GPS, Hexagon, laser radar, lidar, location based sensor fusion, location intelligence, mobile, mobile mapping, Open Source, OpenGeo, remote sensing, resilient cities, satellite based tracking, satellite imagery, sensors, spatial data, transportation

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