Swift Navigation and PolySync form autonomous driving technology partnership


A San Francisco-based startup building centimeter-accurate GPS technology to power autonomous vehicles, Swift Navigation, has teamed up with PolySync, which is building the tools and software infrastructure at the center of self-driving vehicle development.

As a result of the technology-focused alliance, PolySync has built a driver for Swift Navigation’s flagship product, the Piksi Multi GNSS receiver, which is now available for autonomous vehicle development teams and projects. To put their complementary technologies to the test, the companies entered multiple vehicles at the Self Racing Cars event at the Thunderhill West Track at Willows in California earlier this month, where the teams demonstrated autonomous driving with three test vehicles on the two-mile track.

Swift recently shipped its newest product, Piksi Multi, a multi-band, multi-constellation high-precision GNSS receiver, perfectly apted for the autonomous vehicle market. Ushering in a new era of precision GPS affordability, Piksi Multi represents a revolution in centimeter-accurate GNSS capabilities for the mass market. Swift’s systems use real-time kinematics (RTK) technology, providing location units that are 100 times more accurate than traditional GPS, at a fraction of the cost.

PolySync provides Core, a development framework and runtime system for autonomous car development that turns algorithms, sensors and actuators into plug-and-play applications. Software built with Core moves seamlessly between computers, teams, vendors and continents, helping automotive OEMs and Tier 1 companies to get to market faster with one codebase from R&D to production. Swift’s Piksi Multi GNSS receiver is the latest pre-built driver in a suite of popular autonomous driving sensors from PolySync. When purchasing the PolySync Core middleware, customers get the Piksi Multi driver as a free component.

“Piksi Multi and PolySync are quite literally paving the way for autonomous vehicles: Piksi Multi is making centimeter-level localization more accessible at an attractive price point, while PolySync is easing integration of sensors within the autonomous vehicle sensor suite with its Core and pre-built drivers, such as the new Piksi Multi driver,” stated Timothy Harris, CEO and co-founder of Swift Navigation. “This allows integrators to focus on their own navigation algorithms and simplify development of self-driving cars, lowering barriers to entry to emerging automotive teams.”

Josh Hartung, CEO and co-founder of PolySync, added, “Our Core supports a wide range of sensors in the self-driving car industry, including cameras, radar, lidar and IMU. We are thrilled to add Swift Navigation’s high-precision, centimeter-accurate GNSS sensor driver to our line of autonomous vehicle sensor drivers.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).