Frequently Asked Questions

Basics 

  1. What is localization in the context of autonomous vehicles?  
    Localization refers to the process by which an autonomous vehicle (AV) determines its exact position and orientation in the world. It involves identifying where the vehicle is on a map or within its environment. It is critical for the safe deployment of AVs on our shared roadways. 
  2. Why is precise localization crucial for autonomous vehicles?  
    Precise localization is a foundational element of autonomous vehicle technology. It underpins safety, navigation, and effective interaction with the surrounding environment. Positioning itself correctly allows an AV to accurately move from point A to point B and requires multiple sensors to follow the precise path while interacting with other vehicles, objects, and pedestrians.  
  3. What are the primary methods for autonomous vehicle localization?  
    A combination of sensors and technologies such as GPS, LiDAR, cameras, radar, and inertial measurement units (IMUs) are used to determine position relative to AVs surroundings. 

GPR Specific 

  1. What is the role of GPR technology in localization? 
    GPR Ground Positioning Radar uses ground penetrating radar to extract highly unique subterranean landmarks from deep beneath the driving surface to provide exceptionally robust vehicle positioning. Unlike many surface features, the subterranean landmarks or fingerprints extracted by GPR are resilient over time and impervious to environmental conditions including snow and rain, making GPR the most reliable system for vehicle localization.  
  2. How deep can GPR penetrate the ground?  
    10 feet below the surface. 
  3. What happens then when someone has dug down a new cable, water has changed the attenuation, or in areas of highly attenuating soils? 
    GPR AI knows how to filter out saturation from the soil and focuses on the characteristics that matter for localization. 
  4. Where does the GPR sensor mount on a vehicle? 
    The sensor can be mounted anywhere in the undercarriage of the vehicle, seamlessly integrated into the chassis, or even integrated into battery packs. 
  5. What are the limitations of GPR in autonomous vehicle localization? 
    While GPR uptime surpasses other sensor fail points, there are limited scenarios where GPR mapping may not be possible including metal only bridges or similar roadscapes. 

Industry Specific 

  1. Are there industries other than autonomous vehicles that use GPR for positioning?  
    GPR works across several applications. Successful case studies and tests have been seen in the military, mining, seaports, shuttles, trucking, offroad, and others. For more information, please see our Industries page. Our commitment is to provide the most advanced method for localization, empowering autonomous fleets to navigate and operate everywhere humans can.