The European GNSS Agency (GSA) recently published a Report on Road User Needs and Requirements, as part of a series that examines user needs and requirements for position, navigation and timing (PNT) solutions in various sectors. These reports, which are an outcome of the first European GNSS User Consultation Platform (UCP), will help shape the discussion at the next UCP, to be held as part of European Space Week in Marseille on 3-4 December 2018.
Road applications have a dominant position in the GNSS market, and this will be further strengthened by policy decisions from public authorities and the advent of connected cars. The report notes that eCall and the Smart Tachograph are already good examples of European policy promoting GNSS, and the directive on interoperability of road toll systems in the European Union is another.
Stringent performance requirements
However, according to the report, we are moving from specific devices supporting specific applications, to a situation where the vehicle is a platform of connected services requiring more stringent performances for positioning, timing and navigation.
Autonomous vehicles will bring a new set of requirements, but it is not yet clear what the final role of GNSS will be in the complex guiding system installed in these cars. Nevertheless, there is a significant potential for GNSS use in road transport as the global car industry moves towards connected cars and automated driving.
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However, the report notes that there is a low awareness among stakeholders of the new possibilities offered by EGNSS and that research and pilot projects are needed all along the road value chain to convince decisions-makers to incorporate the latest GNSS signals into their system architectures. Consultation with stakeholders and users will help increase awareness of, and confidence in, GNSS solutions. The EGNSS User Consultation Platform (UCP) plays a key role in this process.
The EGNSS User Consultation Platform
The UCP is a periodic forum organised by the European Commission and the GSA involving end users, user associations and representatives of the value chain, such as receiver and chipset manufacturers, application developers and the organisations and institutions dealing, directly and indirectly, with Galileo and EGNOS. The Platform is a part of the process developed at the GSA to collect user needs and requirements and take them as inputs for the provision of user-driven Galileo and EGNOS services.
The next User Consultation Platform will be held on 3-4 December, during European Space Week in Marseille. The main work of the UCP will be carried out in eight parallel panel sessions grouping users by market segment, with a dedicated session on the road sector.
This year, European Space Week also has a special session on Smart Cities, which will highlight how space applications are driving innovation in today’s smart cities, supporting applications in various areas – from intelligent mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT) to location-based services for health, transportation and everything in-between, including in the road transport sector.
To join the ongoing discussion and to ensure that future European space programme evolutions meet your needs and requirements, you can take part by registering to attend European Space Week here.
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