Sweden’s Hexagon Inks Deal for AV Supplier AutonomouStuff

Hexagon, a sensor technology and software specialist based in Sweden, is acquiring AutonomouStuff, a supplier of integrated autonomous vehicle technologies.

US-based AutonomouStuff has been focused the advancement of AVs, robotics and data intelligence since 2010, and is also a supplier of integrated autonomous vehicle platforms. The two companies did not disclose the financial details of the agreement.

Hexagon specializes in autonomous connected ecosystems (ACE), a technology that allows data to be connected through convergence of the physical and digital, and then coupled with real-time intelligence and analytics.

AutonomouStuff’s platforms, which utilize a wide portfolio of technologies, are currently deployed in pilot programs representing more than 2,500 customers in the automotive and technology sectors across the US, Europe and Asia.

“Our Positioning Intelligence division not only shares customers with AutonomouStuff but has also been one of its key technology providers,” Hexagon president and CEO Ola Rollen told The Connected Car. “This acquisition uniquely positions Hexagon as a leading expert in autonomous mobility solutions that require assured positioning — anywhere.”

Rollen added that aligning the efforts of both companies will accelerate the development of Hexgaon’s “Autonomous X” strategy, where smart autonomous fleets — from cars, trains, and UAVs to industrial vehicles, marine vessels and more — will be enabled to operate more safely, reliably and efficiently.

“Our approach to assured positioning has the continued attention of the automotive industry, an industry that has been investing heavily in autonomy,” Rollen said. “Our positioning technologies are already in use across many autonomous vehicle research programs and test fleets.”

Michael Ritter, president of Hexagon’s positioning intelligence division explained in an email that AutonomouStuff has been supporting the same programs with the hardware, software and services necessary for creating the platforms required to support fully autonomous test vehicles.

“As they move from research to production, these programs will require safety and integrity, an area our division has been focused on for over two years, as evidenced by our Safety Critical Systems development and new ISO standard implementations,” Ritter said.

He explained that together, Hexagon and AutonomouStuff can better support the automotive companies looking to move beyond research to serial production.

“Our combined efforts will not only accelerate the development of more comprehensive Autonomous X solutions, but also position Hexagon as the benchmark for their development — something neither company would be able to achieve on its own,” Rollen said.

Hexagon’s Positioning Intelligence division has been an industry player in global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) for many years, with an established safety critical systems group focused on Autonomous X applications.

“We expect this collaboration to accelerate the implementation of safety, integrity and reliability, within GNSS for autonomous applications,” Rollen said.

The alignment between AutonomouStuff and Hexagon’s Positioning Intelligence division will address the common challenges related to the adoption of autonomous vehicles.

Ritter claimed Hexagon’s focus on positioning, coupled with the AutonomouStuff ecosystem relationships, platform development, and engineering services would result in even safer, more robust and reliable autonomous driving solutions.

Ritter expects this collaboration would accelerate the implementation of safety, integrity and reliability of GNSS for autonomous applications.

“Without a doubt, we live in a time where AI, safety requirements, high bandwidth computing and massive investments in autonomous driving are all converging,” Ritter said. “This, combined with the initiatives of big data companies, will rapidly transform the automotive industry.”

Rollen noted it takes an ecosystem of partners, which Hexagon and AutonomouStuff are pulling together, to address these challenges.

Nathan Eddy is a filmmaker and freelance journalist based in Berlin. Follow him on Twitter @dropdeaded209.

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