OneWeb-Eutelsat Merger Dims Hopes of GNSS Buildout
U.K. May Need To Find Replacement for Galileo
The $3.4 billion merger of OneWeb and Paris-based Eutelsat may allow the companies to compete with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, but may have put a damper on the opportunity for the United Kingdom to build its own satellites with positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) capabilities.
OneWeb’s satellites, of which 648 low-Earth orbit satellites are planned, were thought of by government officials to be the U.K.’s replacement for the Galileo system, which it is not able to use because of Brexit.
The company currently has 428 satellites in orbit, which will be combined with Eutelsat’s 36 geostationary orbit satellites. The companies’ goal is to bring broadband into rural areas with limited internet access—something that puts them into direct competition with SpaceX’s Starlink project.
Some industry experts believe that Eutelsat, which had already taken a financial stake in OneWeb last year, will have its hands full building out the company’s satellites, much less trying to monetize a secondary payload for PNT.
“Leveraging OneWeb for PNT has always been an uphill climb. Possible, but likely not practical or cost effective considering the alternatives,” said Dana Goward, Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation president.
While a new satellite navigation constellation may have been a good talking point for Prime Minister Boris Johnson during the Brexit/Galileo split, the U.K. government never seemed to be committed to the idea, Goward said. “We hadn’t heard much about it lately. In fact, the U.K. has been doing PNT trials with INMARSAT,” he said. “Near term profits from internet services will be driving OneWeb-Eutelsat. PNT is a long-term strategic resilience and national security issue. It is going to have a hard time moving to the head of the line in a company where the UK government has an even smaller minority stake. Especially if the government is not all that motivated.”
The U.K. government, which bankrolled OneWeb as part of a bailout package when the company filed for bankruptcy, may be concerned that the company is joining a foreign entity whose shareholders include the Chinese government.
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Google Maps Rolls Out Three New Features
Facing competition from Instagram (see our “Other Location News” briefs below) and other companies with detailed search capability, Google Maps GOOG 0.00 launched three new features this week: detailed cycling routes, aerial and immersive views of 100 landmarks and improved location sharing with notifications for friend arrival and departure.
In a company blog, Google Maps says that immersive view, which pairs AI with Street View, satellite and aerial imagery, will help people plan their trips and find helpful information about places they plan to visit. Aerial views include popular landmarks in such cities as Barcelona, London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo.
To leverage a market that Google says has increased by more than 40 percent worldwide, the company launched new features for cycling, including bike route comparison. Other features include trail elevation, traffic information, stairs and steep hills. “Gone are the days of unknowingly pedaling up a strenuous hill or on a route with more car traffic than you’re comfortable with,” the company said in its blog.
The final new Google Maps feature, a friend location and sharing function, allows users (who have chosen to share their location) to see when friends have arrived a certain place such as a concert. Users can see when a friend has left a venue and when they have returned to a certain area, the company said.
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Other Location News:
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🤨 Why Isn't Russia Jamming GPS Harder in Ukraine? Dana Goward, Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation president: “Signals from Russia’s GLONASS satnav system and terrestrial Chayka electronic navigation system are both available for use in Ukraine. Yet it seems likely there not enough compatible receivers for these systems to equip all Russian forces.”
🛩 Bill Would Prod Pentagon To Accelerate Fielding of New Tech to Defeat Drone Swarms. “The legislation would require the Pentagon leadership to conduct an assessment of the threats posed by drone swarms to DOD installations and deployed military forces”
🚘 Qualcomm Technologies and Mahindra Collaborate to Provide Immersive In-Vehicle Experiences in the All-New Scorpio-N. Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. is working with Visteon VC 0.00 to bring in-vehicle experiences to the new Scorpio-N, using Qualcomm’s QCOM 0.00 3rd generation Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms.
🤞 What Google Maps? Apple Launches a New Navigation Experience for More Users. “Apple AAPL 0.00 has launched the new Apple Maps in New Zealand, and one of the most significant changes is the debut of a new navigation experience for all users in the country.”
🙂 The New Instagram Map Is Like Google Maps but With More Selfies. “The new Instagram META 0.00 map supports searches and filters, allowing users to look up restaurants, attractions and other hot spots directly in the app, rather than simply viewing where a photo was posted.”
👍 Google Maps Rival Gets an Update Most People Will Probably Ignore. “Yandex Maps now supports ordering takeaway from cafes and restaurants by just typing “where to eat” in the search bar. After you choose a restaurant and pay for the order, the navigation app itself sends a notification and then guides you to the location where you can pick up the order.”
☹ GM's Cruise Robotaxi Unit Drives Deeper Into the Red. “GM GM 0.00 has lost nearly $5 billion since 2018 trying to build a robotaxi business in San Francisco, and now as the automaker's Cruise unit starts charging for rides, the losses are accelerating. GM said on Tuesday it lost $500 million on Cruise during the second quarter - more than $5 million a day.”
🚗 Cruise Starts Mapping Dubai's Streets in Prep for 2023 Robotaxi Launch. “Cruise has sent two of its autonomous Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles to Dubai to begin mapping the city in preparation for a planned launch in 2023.”
😮 Real Driverless Cars Are Now Legal in Shenzhen, China's Tech Hub. “[A] regulation, which is set to take effect on August 1, grants permission for autonomous driving vehicles to operate without a human in the driver’s seat — though only within areas designated by the city’s authorities.”
🚍 Michigan Passes First-in-Nation Legislation for Automated Vehicle Roadway.
Location Industry Briefs
Send your news releases to email@example.com. Go to www.locationbusinessnews.com for more news and an archive of stories.
HERE Partners With Citility for Location Services
HERE Technologies has announced that Citility, an integrated mobility platform in India, is using the company’s location services and application programming interface (APIs) for its solutions and products. Citility, which markets to government transportation agencies, uses data to give those entities options on commuting.
With HERE location services, the Citility mobile app will include estimated times of arrival, amount of time spent commuting, carbon emissions produced for each route, the company said. In addition, Citility is also integrating location functionalities from HERE to include map rendering, geocoding and search, routing, transit, tour planning and positioning.
Contact: Camy Cheng, HERE Technologies, 65 9088 4127, Camy.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Digital Matter Announces New Office in the Netherlands
Saying that the European IoT market is expanding, Digital Matter has opened an office in Sassenheim, Netherlands. “Our EU office will allow us to better support our partners in this region with local support, faster shipping, and more opportunities to meet our team and collaborate face-to-face,” said CEO Ken Everett, in a statement. With 1 million devices deployed globally, Digital Matter develops GPS asset tracking hardware and device management software for telematics businesses, IoT solution providers, enterprises and network operators.
Contact: Shay Kettner, Digital Matter, email@example.com, www.digitalmatter.com.
U-blox Introduces Cellular Module With Embedded SIM Chip
Thalwil, Switzerland-based u-blox [UBXN] has introduced the SARA-R500E—its first cellular module with an embedded SIM chip (eSIM). SARA-R500E is designed for such size-constrained applications as connected healthcare and asset trackers. The first variant of the module will offer connectivity on a unnamed North American LTE-M cellular network, the company said.
The module, available in September, also offers the option to access u-blox’s MQTT Anywhere service to reduce bandwidth requirements for cellular data transfer, the company said. In addition, u-blox IoT Location-as-a-service portfolio, including AssistNow for real-time GNSS assistance data, and CellLocate, for cellular network-based positioning, is also available, the company said.
Contact: Natacha Seitz, u-blox, 41 76 436 0788, firstname.lastname@example.org.
TomTom Wins Frost & Sullivan Innovation Award
Frost & Sullivan recently awarded TomTom [TOM2.AS] with its 2022 Global Automotive Navigation New Product Innovation Award for the company’s Navigation for Automotive solution. TomTom’s Navigation for Automotive features a cloud-native in-dash hybrid navigation system, over-the-air (OTA) software and continuous map updates.
For the award, Frost & Sullivan said its industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analyses, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
Contact: Lindsey Whitaker, Frost & Sullivan, (210) 247-3823, email@example.com.
Trackimo Partners With FocusPoint for Emergency Management Solutions
Trackimo has partnered with FocusPoint International to integrate services into devices that are linked to the Overwatch & Rescue plan and PULSE platform for outdoor emergency management and response for travelers, drivers and cargo. Trackimo’s devices feature GPS, GSM, Wi-Fi and BLE technology.
FocusPoint offers the Overwatch & Rescue plan that pairs with Trackimo devices to provide users with emergency services including direct escalation to search and rescue with a live tracking link, the company said. The platform also can receive alerts from Trackimo devices to send law enforcement authorities incident details.
Contact: Natalie Lee, Trackimo, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Otonomo’s App Updated on Salesforce AppExchange
Otonomo Technologies OTMO 0.00 has updated its app on the Salesforce AppExchange to provide customers mobility data for single vehicles and fleets. The Otonomo app provides customers with fleet vehicle data insights, location monitoring (distance tracking, geofencing) and status, the company said. Salesforce Service Cloud helps streamline the app’s workflow structures and provides functionalities for email, invoicing and legal requests, the company said.
Contact: Juliet McGinnis, Otonomo, email@example.com, www.otonomo.io.
Toposens Launches 3D Collision Avoidance Sensor
Munich-based Toposens has rolled out its 3D Collision Avoidance Sensor for mobile robots that is based on the company’s ultrasonic echolocation technology. The company says the industrial mobile robots market (automated forklifts, AMRs and AGVs) is booming.
The company says that other 3D Sensor systems, lidar and cameras, have limitations in their perception capabilities when forklift forks are close to the floor. Toposens’ ECHO ONE compensates the drawbacks of optical sensors through sound-based triangulation combined with noise-filtering software, the company said.
Contact: Maria Degmair, Toposens, 49 89 23751540, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://toposens.com.
TwoNav Rolls Out Nav Products at Bike Show
Spain-based TwoNav rolled out several navigation products at the recent Frankfurt Eurobike conference. The cycling navigation products include GPS Trail 2 Plus, GPS Terra and Software Land 9.
The company, now 20 years old, said it has multiplied its sales in Germany by five times. The company, which cites Garmin GRMN 0.00 and Hammerhead as competitors, integrates mapping products from TomTom, IGN, Ordnance Survey, BKG, BEV and SwissTopo.
Contact: Xavi Ventura, TwoNav, email@example.com, www.twonav.com.
Link Labs Featured in IoT Intelligence Report
Link Labs has announced its inclusion in a new IoT Intelligence report by Valuer that details innovations in Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS), including indoor asset tracking technology and features five company case studies. The company’s AirFinder helps companies locate, monitor and manage business assets indoors and outdoors, the company said.
Contact: Jodie Booras, for Link Labs, (619) 564-9306, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.link-labs.com.
Comtech Telecommunications Corp. CMTL 0.00 has elected current independent director Ken Peterman as Chairman of the Board. Peterman succeeds Fred Kornberg, who is retiring as Chairman with 50 years at the company.
Ivan Sheldon, currently Vice President, Rand McNally Fleet, will take on additional responsibilities as General Manager for Rand Logistics (while continuing to lead partnerships for Rand Fleet).
Trimble TRMB 0.00 has named Bibhu Choudhary as Head of Technology for India. The company said Choudhary will help define Trimble's technology strategy and will partner with engineering leaders to expand its presence in the country.
Director of Product Management. TomTom.
Strategic Account Manager - Automotive. TomTom.
Sales Executive. TomTom.
Sr. Product Manager, Mobile Fleet. Axon.
Director, Product and Business Development. Telenav.
GNSS Software Sales Manager, Industrial Accounts (EU). Swift Navigation.
Business Development & Sales Intern. Fixposition.
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