Vodafone develops new high-accuracy tech to track drones

Vodafone high-accuracy track drones

Vodafone has recently tested its high-precision tracking system capable of remotely tracking a drone or vehicle within 10 centimeters of its actual location. The system has been built in partnership with global positioning provider Sapcorda using Vodafone’s internet of things (IoT) platform.

As we continue to expand the use of autonomous vehicles for personal and commercial uses, accurately and quickly tracking their location will be a crucial step for safety and operational awareness.

The system uses the same technology the higher-end commercial drones are using. RTK or real-time kinematics allows the accuracy data to be corrected by a base station, allowing for more accurate location tracking.

Vodafone’s system uses GPS satellites and ground-based RTK stations that correct the location data being sent from the satellites. This does mean many ground stations will have to be set up for precise location for the whole journey.

As the location system runs on Vodafone’s network, a vehicle can easily and quickly be equipped with a built-in IoT SIM card and begin sending location data to a central dashboard to allow the operator to keep track of the vehicle.

Vodafone Business Platforms and Solutions director Justin Shields shared:

We might not be able to locate a needle in a haystack yet, but we are getting close. What we can do now is take new digital services like this one, integrate it with our global IoT platform and fast networks, and offer it securely at scale to many millions of customers. Our in-building 5G and IoT services already allow manufacturing plants, research laboratories, and factories to carry out critical, and often hazardous, precision work with robots. Now we are applying the same levels of accuracy to the outdoor world.

Vodafone recently put the technology to the test by tracking the exact lane multiple vehicles were in along a 100-kilometer (62 miles) journey. The data feed was provided by Sapcorda, which allowed the GPS data to be corrected. The new Precise Positioning Service will complement Vodafone’s already released asset tracking system used by enterprise customers across 54 countries.

Photo: Vodafone

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