News Item


The European Safety Critical Applications Positioning Engine (ESCAPE) project aims to develop chips for automotive safety-critical applications.

In 2015, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) launched 'Fundamental Elements' - an R&D funding mechanism supporting the development of GNSS-enabled chipsets, receivers and antennas. It aims to support the development of innovative chipset and receiver technology that industry would not undertake on its own initiative - thus accelerating integration of Galileo and EGNOS into devices.

The end goal is to develop close-to-market chipsets, receivers and antennas in targeted markets - the first project dedicated to the automotive segment.

With connected and autonomous driving vehicles being the most relevant trends in this sector, there is a need to provide accurate and reliable positioning for safety-critical applications. Within this context, safety-critical applications are defined as those that possess the potential to avoid causing harm to humans, destroying the vehicle or damaging external property or the environment.

The traditional way of providing such information is to make use of multiple sources of sensor data. But this requires the use of such sophisticated equipment as radar/lidar sensors and cameras, which tend to be expensive. And, as this equipment is not specifically designed for use with automotive applications, it is not fully suitable to provide reliable positioning information.

Hence ESCAPE aims to overcome these challenges by developing a dedicated, reliable and accurate engine, specifically designed for automotive safety-critical applications. Under the ESCAPE umbrella, participating companies are pooling their complementary competences and pre-existing knowledge to develop an innovative positioning engine that exploits European GNSS (E-GNSS). Ultimately, the project will develop the first multi-constellation Galileo chipset receiver with multi-frequency capability specifically adapted to road applications, in particular autonomous vehicles.

The GSA Head of Market Development explains: 'For the first time, an E-GNSS engine will provide an integrity-focused, safety-critical positioning system that fully integrates GNSS, on-board sensors, cameras and maps.'

The engine’s core features include:
- a GNSS/Galileo multi-constellation, multi-frequency chipset for road applications
- use of the precise point positioning (PPP) service
- hybridisation of cameras, maps, vehicle sensors and GNSS integrated into a tight coupling filter
- provision of an integrity layer to the exploited technologies
- optional capability to implement navigation message authentication

Over 3 years, these technologies will be integrated into the resulting ESCAPE engine - at that point, the engine will be close to commercialisation, with rapid market uptake expected.

Details from the GSA link below . .

  • 06 January 2017
  • RIN

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