Verizon details network enhancements aimed at improving GPS accuracy

The company said it's been building and deploying Real Time Kinematics reference stations to its network that are meant to provide hyper-precise location information for connected devices.

Verizon on Thursday released details around its initiative to enhance the GPS accuracy of the phones, drones, and IoT devices that run on its network. The company said it's been building and deploying Real Time Kinematics (RTK) reference stations to its network that are meant to provide hyper-precise location information for connected devices.

Verizon said RTK's pinpoint-level location data is a building block to bring to scale emerging technologies like driverless cars, drone delivery, and IoT.

As part of its efforts, Verizon is also working with mapping provider HERE Technologies and automated mobility specialist Renovo on scaling autonomous vehicle technology that can address future autonomy needs and pedestrian safety issues. 

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On the mapping side, the companies are pairing HERE's HD Map and HD Positioning technologies with intelligent RTK algorithms and making that scalable. The Renovo partnership leverages machine learning and RTK technology to improve advanced driving assistance systems.

"We are scaling RTK to enable mobile location accuracy to within a few centimeters, transforming what is currently possible when it comes to location-enabled services and new IoT solutions coming onto the market," said Nicola Palmer, chief product development officer for Verizon. "Continued growth in the IoT environment means billions of devices in fields where precision location services are becoming more critical, such as vehicle automation, unmanned aerial vehicles, precision agriculture technology, infrastructure monitoring, asset tracking, and high-value shipping."

Verizon said it's working to make RTK accessible with device makers. IoT devices currently using RTK can be accessed and managed through Verizon's ThingSpace management platform and APIs.

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