Two UK companies, Navtech Radar and Oxbotica, have joined forces to deliver a radar-based smart sensing solution for autonomous vehicle (AV) operation in any environment and under any conditions.
The new strategic partnership combines Navtech’s 20 years’ experience developing industry-leading, high-performance radar-based sensing solutions with Oxford University spinoff Oxbotica’s expertise in creating software for universal autonomy. Targeting a 2020 deployment, the partners are hoping the unique combination of leading-edge hardware and software will enable next level autonomy. Unlike other systems on the market, the radar-odometry solution will work faultlessly in the most challenging situations and in any environment, regardless of the conditions. These applications range from mines and airports to warehouses and forests.
Navtech’s high-definition radars have been deployed on five continents and over 46 countries, to detect and track objects in critical applications. Their ability to operate in all weather conditions, including dense fog, heavy snowfall or torrential rain, makes them ideally suited for off-road commercial applications. The partnership will see Oxbotica integrate its software into Navtech’s hardware, starting with the fully ruggedized CIR sensor and the new compact CAS (FMCW) 76GHz radar. Initially the partnership will develop an odometry solution before expanding to radar localization. Part of Oxbotica’s vision to deliver ‘Universal Autonomy’ globally, the new radar-based capabilities will enable the company to further meet the growing appetite for the industry application of autonomous software for both on and off highway vehicles.
“We are delighted to form this partnership with Navtech to boost the deployment of our software solutions to off-road autonomous vehicles. Autonomy in off-road environments has long been regarded as a challenge to satisfying the appetite for autonomy in industries,” commented Ozgur Tohumcu, Oxbotica’s CEO. “This alliance is proof that the right companies are already prepared to meet that need, and the application of autonomous software is ready for deployment in limitless ways. It’s testament to our success to date and will further our entry into additional important industries where our technology can unlock efficiencies and create safer, more productive workplaces.”
Navtech Radar’s managing director, Philip Avery, added, “Oxbotica is the perfect partner for us; a leader in its field with software that fits seamlessly into our products, and with an engineering culture that mirrors our own. We look forward to working with Oxbotica to deliver a crucial technology to the autonomous vehicle market, enabling safe operation in all conditions.”