Horizon Europe project egeniouss – led by Austrian Institute of Technology – develops cloud-based localization service for positioning and navigation in cities.
Vienna, March 23, 2023. The EU project egeniouss makes accurate and reliable navigation available for everyone. Navigation and positioning apps for cyclists, solutions for professional surveyors and mappers, drone operators and automated driving applications rely on satellite-based navigation signals. But in cities, urban canyons – shaped by tall buildings – often interrupt these satellite signals and make many applications unreliable, unsafe or even unusable. Cyclists lose track, turn late, and evoke critical situations which in the worst-case can lead to accidents. Safety for autonomous driving requires exact and reliable positioning at all times.
Three complementary use cases to explore the full potential of AAA-PNT
In collaboration with six European partners, the AIT Center for Vision, Automation & Control (VAC)
successfully started the 3,5 years lasting Horizon Europe project with three exemplary use cases –
a cycling app, a surveying app, and drone delivery (e.g. for medical supplies) to develop “AAA-PNT
– Affordable, Accurate and Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing”. The egeniouss
GNSS- and cloud-based visual localisation technology will be applicable to any device with a
camera, computing power and a GNSS receiver (e.g. smartphones and -watches, tablets, drones).
By the choice of the use cases, egeniouss contributes to more safety and comfort making our cities
more liveable in the age of digitalisation. Two smartphone-based use cases, namely bicycle
navigation and smartphone-based surveying & mapping, and one robotic use case – drone delivery
– will demonstrate complementary features of the combined EGNSS – Visual Localisation service.
Coordinator Phillipp Fanta-Jende from the VAC, emphasises that “Although egeniouss will be
compatible with other satellite navigation systems, such as GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou etc., only the
European GNSS infrastructure offers the ideal foundation to enable egeniouss’ full potential to
democratise high-performance positoning and leverage its high transferability to other value-added
egeniouss base technology as a global market driver
Besides the three quick starters – firstly GNSS-based mapping, secondly navigation & tracking for
cyclists and pedestrians and thirdly drone-based operations – egeniouss lays the basis for the
improvement of other location-based and -dependent services and the development of still unknown
service opportunities in growing market segments (e.g. wearables in the health & lifestyle market)
and fills technological gaps for previously hyped solutions offered too early in the markets (e.g.
AR/MR augmentation devices like Google Glasses and other geo-advertising and geo-tagging
services in the tourism and social network segments). Drone-based delivery will be applicable to the
emergency market to fulfil the high standards in safety & time-critical applications. egeniouss-
equipped tramways in urban environments (rail market) can use egeniouss for accurate and low-
cost inspection of rail infrastructure and enable accurate tracking of trams for enriched passenger
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information systems. Autonomous vehicles greatly benefit from egeniouss’ accurate localisation
capability for safety reasons and better navigation.
Maximising the progress of all research fields to achieve the eager technology Ismael Colomina, CEO and Chief Scientist of GeoNumerics, a high-tech SME in GNSS research, remarks, that “egeniouss is an ambitious initiative. Unlike other navigation projects, this one is based on a multidisciplinary approach, from robotics and computer vision to advanced satellite geodesy.
These synergies will enable great progress in these fields.”.
The potential of augmented European GNSS
It is imperative that satellite-based positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) run smoothly to support numerous infrastructures, such as communication, transport and even finance. When signals from
global navigation satellite systems (GNSSs) are interrupted, it can pose a threat to safety and
security. Meanwhile, satellite augmentation systems that enhance GNSS performance can be very
expensive while not solving all problems at once. The goal of the EU-funded egeniouss project is to
improve the existing European GNSS Galileo with its adjunct services by developing an accurate
and – highly relevant for consumer apps – affordable cloud service that can overcome common GNSS issues, such as multipath, jamming or spoofing.