How HxGN SmartNet is used for driverless racing  

When designing a driverless racing car, you need the most reliable precision. This required centimetre-level precise positioning is provided by HxGN SmartNet, the world’s largest Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) correction service provider.

Leica Geosystems is supporting the ETH Zurich «Formula Student» project with their technology in the category driverless with HxGN SmartNet. The Academic Motorsports Club Zurich (AMZ) was founded in 2006 by students of ETH Zurich and has produced a prototype to compete in various «Formula Student» competitions in Europe every year since then. More than 700 engineers throughout Europe are already participating in this competition.

For this autonomous racing, HxGN SmartNet’s GNSS corrections are used as the “ground truth” for positioning the car. Reliability and accuracy of the positioning are crucial for autonomous driving.

The AMZ Racing Team is using HxGN SmartNet’s correction data to:

  • Validate their SLAM and perception algorithms. The team has integrated the dual antenna RTK system on their race car to be able to track the position and heading of their race car.
  • Measure the positions of the cones that mark their race track with a handheld device that uses HxGN SmartNet.

HxGN SmartNet and NovAtel’s PwrPak7 receivers are key enabling components in AMZ’s solution. By knowing the accurate pose of both the car and the cones at every timestamp, they can validate their perception pipeline, which estimates cone positions using cameras and LiDARs relative to the car’s coordinate frame. They can also validate the mapped race track estimated by their SLAM algorithm with the RTK measurements of the cones.

We wish the AMZ Racing Team good luck for the upcoming races!

Read more about HxGN SmartNet.

Christoph Storm is HxGN SmartNet Product Manager.




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