CAMBRIDGE, MA—Long established as a key component within defense applications, navigation technology from Draper is now available to the autonomous vehicle market. The Draper APEX Gyroscope applies the principles of reliability, dependability and performance from aerospace and defense to the consumer market at a fraction of the cost of competing offerings.
Building on decades of expertise delivering navigation solutions, the Draper APEX Gyroscope is ready for integration into autonomous vehicles. Enabling autonomous vehicles to navigate safely in tunnels and cities without GPS, and through other potential sensor failures, are top requirements for automotive manufacturers.
“For decades, Draper has designed gyroscopes to perform in demanding environments for our aerospace and defense customers,” said Sabrina Mansur, technical director for autonomous vehicles at Draper. “The Draper APEX Gyroscope is a highly competitive and cost-efficient variant of our industry-leading navigation technology that has performed with high precision in autonomous systems undersea, on land, in the air and in space. "
Self-driving cars combine hardware and software to control, navigate and drive the vehicle. Inside self-driving cars is a suite of sensors that are constantly talking to each other and their drivers about speed, direction, location, braking status and so forth. For the industry, however, guiding a self-driving car to within centimeters of where it should be, under all conditions, remains a hurdle.
Draper addressed this challenge by developing a MEMS gyroscope that provides centimeter-level localization accuracy. Company engineers designed the gyro to deliver superior signal-to-noise ratio, minimize localization and position errors and correct accumulated drift in the navigation system. In tests the Draper APEX Gyroscope achieved an ARW of 0.01 deg/sqrt (hr) and a BIS of 0.1 deg/hr.
“Until now this level of performance has eluded MEMS-based gyro technology, but that’s no longer the case,” said Eric Balles, director of transport and energy at Draper. “The Draper APEX Gyroscope is built using standard MEMS foundry processes and can be produced at a fraction of competing offerings, including fiber optic gyroscopes."
The company will show the Draper APEX Gyroscope at the Automated Vehicles Symposium 2018, July 9 to 12, in San Francisco. The new offering, which is available to license, adds to Draper’s growing portfolio of autonomous system and self-driving car capabilities. The newest addition to the portfolio includes LiDAR-on-a-Chip—a chip-scale MEMS-based LiDAR that is an affordable and scalable solution with the performance to enable a driverless car to travel safely at highway speeds.