Vodafone has trialled a new satellite-based tracking technology that works with its Internet of Things (IoT) platform to track vehicles, drones and cargo with an accuracy of 10 centimetres. The company said that this is a dramatic improvement over current standard satellite-based systems which are accurate to three metres (300 centimetres).
Using Sapcorda’s enhanced satellite navigation system and its own IoT platform, Vodafone says that the tracking technology will be deployable on transport where its necessary to know the precise location of a vehicle. In the case of first responders, the firm said medics will be able to track the location of drones carrying supplies such as blood.
Commenting on the news, Vodafone Business Platforms and Solutions Director Justin Shields said:
“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.”
By coupling Vodafone’s IoT platform and Sapcorda’s Global Navigation System Service (GNSS) any inaccuracies caused by the curvature of the earth, the atmosphere and clock differences on the satellites can be resolved. Vodafone says that when its new system is coupled with video and on-board diagnostics, vehicle operators will be able to carry out inspections and pause machines remotely when needed.
The firm didn’t announce pricing for the new service, only that it will complement existing solutions that it provides to business customers across 54 countries.