Companies working on satellite/GPS connectivity thanks to €1.2m grant

The British-Israeli start-up Valerann has teamed up with established Cardiff-based SME Excelerate Technology to work on technology to allow roads to leverage space technologies to support autonomous vehicles

The companies have received a €1.2M grant from the European Space Agency to work on technology to use satellite communications and GPS technologies to make a system scalable and available as an off-grid solution.

Valerann and Excelerate Technology will collaborate over the next 18 months to integrate satellite technologies into Valerann’s Smart Road System. In this time, the companies say they will demonstrate the advantages of leveraging space technologies to collect and share data about traffic and road environments.

The consortium will work with Valerann’s clients to showcase how improved off-grid traffic management can help road operators reduce detection time and response time to events and increase the effectiveness of counter congestion measures. They say looking to the future, as vehicles become more connected and autonomous, Valerann’s Satellite-enabled Smart Road System will provide data directly to vehicles about downstream road and traffic conditions, to help accelerate the safe introduction of autonomous vehicles.

Gabriel Jacobson, Valerann’s CEO, said “The advantages of traffic management are well documented, but both these technologies and future technologies such as autonomous vehicles are highly dependent on connectivity that often does not exist. With ITS Equant we will provide roads and road operators a scalable solution that can be deployed on any road, regardless of whether these roads have existing connectivity.”

David Savage, Excelerate Technology’s founder added, “Today, 36% of UK highways do not have stable 4G connectivity and many roads have no cellular connectivity whatsoever. We are excited to partner with Valerann and the European Space Agency to create a solution that collects data and provides connectivity on any road to make our journey’s safer and more efficient”.

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