On March 18, 2021, u-blox acquired full ownership of Sapcorda Services GmbH, a joint venture originally formed in 2017 by u-blox, Bosch, Geo++, and Mitsubishi Electric. Designed to bring scalable, affordable, and high quality GNSS positioning solutions to industrial, automotive, and consumer applications, Sapcorda has gone on to develop and successfully launch an advanced PPP-RTK GNSS augmentation service capable of reducing satellite-based positioning accuracies to less than ten centimeters.
With mass-market scalability in mind, Sapcorda’s services are tailored to the needs of industrial application areas including autonomous vehicles, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGV), machine automation, surveying, monitoring, and other advanced navigation applications. Emerging automotive applications include automated driving (AD) and advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), lane-accurate navigation, telematics, and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication.
Sapcorda’s correction data is generated by processing data collected across a broad network of GNSS base stations. Each base station constantly monitors the signals broadcast by orbiting GNSS satellites to measure any delays incurred as the signals traverse the charged upper layers of the atmosphere. The observations are then processed in correction service data centers. The result is a GNSS correction data stream that models the individual components of the GNSS errors and is valid over broad geographic expanses, delivering a robust, reliable, and secure GNSS augmentation service to mass-market applications.
Being part of u-blox enables us to combine the capabilities of the IoT services delivery platform, the high precision positioning modules, and the augmentation services to offer a seamlessly integrated, high performing, and future-proof solution.
“Already as a joint venture company we were in perfect alignment with u-blox in terms of our strategic vision to develop scalable high precision GNSS solutions for the mass market and enable emerging applications and use cases that are far beyond the capabilities of classic GNSS correction services,” says Botho zu Eulenburg, CEO of Sapcorda. “Being part of u-blox enables us to combine the capabilities of the IoT services delivery platform, the high precision positioning modules, and the augmentation services to offer a seamlessly integrated, high performing, and future-proof solution.”
Sapcorda’s SAPA services were launched in the US and Europe in January 2020 and have since been expanded to full coverage of the contiguous US and 33 countries in Europe. Because they are based on open GNSS correction data formats, their use is not restricted to a single hardware manufacturer. Initially only available via the internet, Sapcorda launched the distribution of the service via an additional geostationary satellite L-Band signal in December 2020, just before being fully acquired by u-blox.
The acquisition of Sapcorda expands u-blox’s IoT Location-as-a-Service offering, complementing its existing GNSS assistance data and communication service offerings. Sapcorda has focused on establishing a platform from which to bring GNSS augmentation services to the mass market by delivering on robustness, reliability, and end-to-end security as it relates to performance.