Ground penetrating radar aimed at improving autonomous vehicle navigation
TerraVision localized ground penetrating radar (LGPR) technology from GSSI is aimed at improving navigation for autonomous vehicles (AVs).
The LGPR technology was originally developed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory for military applications and is designed to help navigate even in the worst possible driving conditions. It works by sending radio waves into the ground, creating a digital fingerprint of the subsurface. This underground map of soils and rocks becomes the reference to guide autonomous vehicles. LGPR is unaffected by above-ground conditions such as snow, fog, rain, or dust—conditions that present huge challenges to the usual AV sensors.
LGPR works by using radar to map underground rocks, soil layers, pipes, and roots. Each 3-m-deep slice image is surprisingly distinct. Stitching many of these images together creates a full 3D fingerprint that can be used by any LGPR-equipped vehicle to know exactly where it is. Since LPGR relies 100% on what’s under the road to navigate, it is not dependent on above-ground activities such as snow, darkness, tunnels, or even if a road is present at all. LGPR testing has shown an in-lane localization accuracy at highway speeds of about 4 cm. GSSI has decided initially to focus overseas.
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