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Bosch, Geo++, Mitsubishi and U-Blox create GNSS joint venture

Steve Rogerson
August 17, 2017
Bosch, Geo++, Mitsubishi Electric and U-Blox have created a joint venture – Sapcorda Services – in Germany to bring high precision GNSS positioning to mass-market applications.
The four parties recognised that existing products for GNSS positioning services do not meet the needs of emerging high precision GNSS mass markets. As a result, they decided to join forces to facilitate the establishment of a worldwide available and affordable service for system integrators, OEMs and receiver manufacturers.
Sapcorda will offer globally available GNSS positioning services via internet and satellite broadcast and will enable accurate GNSS positioning at centimetre level. The services are designed to serve high-volume automotive, industrial and consumer markets. The real-time correction data service will be delivered in a public, open format and is not bound to receiver hardware or systems. More information will be made available later this year.
“We are looking forward to collaborating with our partners in this joint venture,” said Jumana Al-Sibai, executive manager at Robert Bosch. “Together, we want to create a GNSS positioning service that fully supports the requirements for positioning sensors in the automotive sector. Only with built-in safety and the highest levels of precision will we be able to make automated driving reality.”
Germany’s Geo++ is a supplier of GNSS software for positioning applications. It offers software for professional GNSS correction service providers, including agricultural equipment manufacturers, surveying authorities and major transportation stakeholders.
“Geo++ anticipates defining the future of high precision positioning services with our partners at Bosch, Mitsubishi Electric and U-Blox,” said Gerhard Wübbena founder and president of Geo++. “The combination of the partners’ longstanding leadership in automotive and mass markets with Sapcorda’s commitment to push open formats will pave the way for a raft of next generation GNSS applications.”
Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Electric specialises in electrical and electronic equipment used in information processing and communications, space development and satellite communications, consumer electronics, industrial technology, energy, transportation, and building equipment.
“Mitsubishi Electric aims to create a border-less global market for high precision positioning systems where receivers will be able to enjoy real-time correction data services potentially interoperable with the Japanese government’s Clas centimetre level augmentation service via the Quasi-Zenith satellite system,” said Masamitsu Okamura, executive officer at Mitsubishi Electric. “We believe that this venture will accelerate adoption of automated driving and safe driving support.”
Swiss U-Blox deals with wireless and positioning modules and chips for the automotive, industrial and consumer markets. It products let people, vehicles and machines locate their exact position and communicate wirelessly over cellular and short-range networks.
“We believe this initiative with Bosch, Geo++ and Mitsubishi Electric to create Sapcorda Services will bring a truly disruptive GNSS service offering to the market,” said Daniel Ammann, executive vice president at U-Blox. “Key characteristics such as security, safety and mass-scalability, coupled with an attractive business model and an open approach – serving all interested GNSS receiver manufacturers alike – will be a game-changer across a large number of established and emerging applications.”
Germany-based Bosch employs roughly 390,000 people worldwide and generated sales of €73.1bn in 2016.
U-Blox’s Odin-W2 stand-alone IoT gateway module has achieved Atex certification for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (zone 0). Already designed to withstand harsh environmental and electrical conditions, the professional grade, dual band wifi and dual-mode Bluetooth module is now certified for use in potentially explosive atmospheres, found in the oil, gas, mining and petrochemical industries.