NovAtel's Annual Journal of GNSS Technology Solutions and Innovation

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chinese driving Photos courtesy of Beijing StarNeto Technology From left: An automated drivers test facility; surveying a demonstration site and backing into an outlined parking space using automated test system at China Satellite Navigation Conference 2013; righthand photo pictured from left: NovAtel's China representative, Lu Yu; Duan Suping, StarNeto navigation business department manager; and Cameron Henderson, NovAtel product manager. Image credit: NovAtel, StarNeto 38 velocity 2013 two elements are a written test and a driving test on public roads. Technology Competition, evolution Despite sounding tailor-made for a GNSS-aided solution, the new law only required that advanced technology be used to automate driver training and testing; it didn't specify the kind of technology. So, some competing vendors have designed systems that use other positioning methods, such as embedded and roadside sensors. But GNSS-based approaches seem to be the most popular. Lu says that about 15 system integrators have been certified and authorized by the government to provide automated driver training/testing systems, and around 11 of them use NovAtel technology. "GNSS is not the only technology used for automated testing systems," says Jianhui Li, BDStar's president, "but it is the best." Although it has competition, StarNeto is the pioneer in the field. Its system integrates geographic information system (GIS) mapping, camera, trunked radio, on-board GNSS receivers, and an authorization system for identifying the teacher/ test examiner and student/license applicant. Development began by using NovAtel's OEMV-2 receiver, moved on to the OEM615, and is evolving to add an enclosure containing the company's ALIGN heading and relative positioning firmware that has the capability available to process China's BeiDou GNSS signals. The ALIGN Heading firmware generates high precision heading and pitch angles between two receivers for real time navigation. High-precision GNSS commercial survey equipment is also used to survey the training or testing facilities, with coordinates of the sites of the various tests incorporated into the GIS database. History of an Innovation Although a fairly recent development, StarNeto's system has a longer history. NovAtel and BDStar have worked together for 14 years, beginning with BDStar's role as a distributor for NovAtel products in China and evolving into a more fullfledged business partnership. StarNeto began to develop its system in 2010. But the idea goes back more than 10 years ago, when BDStar was contacted by a customer, an academic involved in transportation research, who had an idea of creating an automated test/ training system. At that time, the only GNSS technology capable of meeting the positioning requirements was a real-time kinematic (RTK) system that then cost more than a car, says Li. So, it was impractical for developing as a commercial system. However, BDStar supports academic researchers to help uncover innovative applications and products. "Universities can only afford one or two [GNSS] systems," Li says. "You can't get money from professors, but you can get ideas. So, we support them." For more Solutions visit http:/ /

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