Oxbotica Aims for Weather-Proof ‘Perception’ Suite

Robotics specialist Oxbotica will launch an AV sensor suite whose ‘perception’ capabilities will cope will adverse weather conditions.

The claim is a bold one with automaker giants, including Ford and General Motors, continuing to be stumped by winter weather trials in the north reaches of the US which has seen both roll back on their predictions that robust anywhere, any weather autonomous driving is a near-term reality. Now the UK company, linked to the scientists who brought you the Mars Rovers, has teamed up with radar specialist Navtech in a joint product development of a radar-based navigation and perception system to be launched this year.

The multi-module localization system, combining radar, vision and laser, claims to enable automaker customers to deploy driverless capabilities in both on-road and off-road locations, whether in mines, ports or airports and whatever the weather conditions where standard GPS or LiDAR is not possible. It will not be reliant on any external infrastructure and can operate on its own or be fused with other location services driven by GPS, LiDAR or laser vision.

Oxbotica says it has already successfully tested its proprietary algorithms in a variety of environments and conditions as part of its localization module development and wider full-stack autonomy solution. This will be twinned with Navtech’s hardware in bringing autonomy sensors to market.

Ozgur Tohumcu, Oxbotica CEO, said: “This collaboration with Navtech is a key milestone in bringing autonomy especially to off-road domains such as mines, ports, or airports where existing lidar or GPS may not function effectively due to weather or operating conditions such as dust, rain, or snow.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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