Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67 %) and Leonardo (33 %), has been selected by the European Commission for a new strategic contract to assess the feasibility of an integrity service to complement the European Global Navigation Satellite System (EGNSS) High Accuracy which will pave the way for use in autonomous vehicles.
Thales Alenia Space will focus on the development of a new approach to combine several sensors (sensors fusion) including and complementing evolutions of EGNSS High Accuracy in order to provide the necessary integrity level to serve the high reliability and high accuracy positioning needs of new demanding applications such as road autonomous vehicles but also autonomous transport in maritime and rail sectors.
With this contract, Thales Alenia Space will assess the extension of the integrity and safety of life services for aviation into the road, rail and maritime sectors, having already won last year the EPICURE project, based on an integrity concept for road travel (tolls and insurance), as well as the IMPRESS project targeting an integrity service for rail signalling and train separation.
The prime contractor for EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) for 25 years, a lead industrial contributor to Galileo system and ground mission segment and now responsible for providing 6 Galileo Second Generation satellites, Thales Alenia Space has always been at the forefront of navigation solutions in Europe.
Today, GNSS, as an absolute positioning system, is a key driver for wide scope positioning applications. Tomorrow, the addition and integration of an integrity service complementing EGNSS High Accuracy will foster the emergence of large scale precision safety-critical applications, such as autonomous vehicles.