GNSS.asia Seminar - When GNSS Meets Internet of Things
Stephen Su, General Director, Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEK), Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)
Fiammetta Diani, Deputy Head of Market Development, European GNSS Agency
Slayer Chuang (Kuo-yu), CEO, Geothings
Edoardo Merli, Director of Marketing and Applications, Automotive Product Group, Greater China & South Asia Region, STMicroelectronics
Simon Sun, General Manager, GNSS Business Division, CEC Huada Electronic Design Company
Van Lin, Director, Head, Digital Logistics & Fleet Management Sector, Smart Transportation, Advantech
Greg Huang, Regional Sales Manager, Taiwan & SE Asia, Bosch Sensortech
Max Lai, GNSS Specialist, Tom Tom
Panel discussion moderator
Rainer Horn, GNSS.asia Coordinator
Beatriz Curiel, Senior Policy Officer European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) formally opened the event. In her opening remarks, Curiel highlighted the fact that the range of possible uses for Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) is enormous, spanning many domains, both public and private, from transport and logistics to communication applications, land surveying, agriculture, fisheries, environmental protection, scientific research, tourism and leisure, and many others. She pointed out that the market for satellite navigation services has been growing steadily and many sectors of the European economy are increasingly reliant on satellite navigation services in transport, logistics, telecommunications, energy, and other applications. As such satellite technology is a powerful driver of the economy that will help to create new jobs.
According to Curiel, around 6-7% of the EU economy is dependent on the availability of global navigation satellite signals. The market is expected to be worth €250 billion per year by 2022 and independent studies show that Galileo will deliver around €90 billion to the EU economy over the first 20 years of operations. This includes direct revenues for the space, receivers and applications industries and indirect revenues for society such as more effective transport systems and more effective rescue operations.
Curiel said that the EU is happy to see that the GNSS.asia project has entered its second phase (since January 2015). In this way, she said that the project will continuously act as an inter-regional platform and promote industrial cooperation between the EU and Taiwan in the GNSS downstream sector, since international cooperation is crucial for success.
Topic: IoT market outlook
Speaker: Stephen Su, General Director Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEK), Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)
Su noted that the IoT market is very fragmented with no single killer application or leading company. While mass production is now favoured, manufacturing in future will be customized and competition will shift focus from reducing costs to creating value.
While the current era has fewer than 10 sub-categories of devices (including smart phones, PCs and tablets), the IoT era of the future will have more than 100 sub-categories (including health and fitness, home security, automation and energy management), many of them without critical mass.
IoT is driving both smart living and productivity. Germany and the US are talking about Industry 4.0, with the introduction of IoT and services into the manufacturing environment while multiple IoT applications are driving the creation of smart cities, smart healthcare and security.
Only applications that create value will make money. IoT is about monetizing data but there are security and privacy issues that need to be addressed. "Things" use platforms that can't be secured and can't perform complex computation. Wireless connectivity is ubiquitous but unsecure. The business model also needs to be worked out but there is a model whereby people would be willing to trade some data for free services. Many companies, for example, insurance and advertising companies, are willing to pay for data.
According to Su, Taiwan has missed the software wave and needs to catch up in terms of R&D investment and value-added industries in order to remain competitive. The IoT wave will provide Taiwan industry players a new opportunity for software and hardware integration but this will require an improvement in software capability, an area where Taiwan currently lacks strength.
Topic: European GNSS market outlook: Current trends and emerging opportunities
Speaker: Fiammetta Diani, Deputy Head of Market Development, European GNSS Agency
More satellite systems are good for users. There are two European systems currently in operation or development. The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), in operation since 2009, is a Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) with better accuracy than GPS, and the Galileo Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS). The ninth and tenth Galileo satellites were successfully launched on 10 September, two more will be launched by the end of 2015 and another four in 2016. Initial services will start in 2016.
Satellite navigation is a driver for location-based services (LBS) and smart mobility. There are already 4 billion GNSS devices and the market is expected to continue to grow in the future. It is estimated that by 2020, the number of internet-connected things will reach 50 billion. With the latest internet address standard (IPv6), there are enough internet addresses for every atom on the earth.
There are many useful IoT applications and services possible, which will generate business opportunities. For example, Air France-KLM has developed "eTrack", a GNSS-enabled device that enables the tracking and tracing of luggage.
Geofencing is a technology that defines a virtual boundary around a real-world geographical area. In doing so, a radius of interest is established that can trigger an action in a geo-enabled device. This can be used, for example, for by fleet management companies to trigger an alert when a truck driver breaks from the specified route or by a restaurant to trigger a text message advertising the day's specials to an opt-in customer when the customer enters a defined geographical area. Geofencing can also be used for credit card payments to decrease the risk of fraud.
Galileo and EGNOS are expected to improve the accuracy of a caller's location as the EU moves towards emergency services number standardization for all 28 EU member states, thanks to better performance (accuracy, availability), EU-owned infrastructure under civilian control and potential synergies with eCall, an emergency system that will be installed in all vehicles.
While automation is already a reality today, limited self-driving should be possible from 2018 and full self-driving automation should be available after 2020. Two technologies that are being developed now, sensor-based and connected vehicles to infrastructure, are both useful but have their limitations. The best solution is the convergence of both these technologies since they would combine connectivity with a good understanding of the environment. A converged solution would reduce the need for both an expensive mix of sensors and infrastructure investments. Accurate and reliable GNSS will help to drastically reduce costs.
By 2020 all new receivers will be multi-constellation. Multi-frequency is already used for professional applications. The mass market is expected to follow, accelerated by dedicated R&D funding. Integration of GNSS with WiFi, MEMS, RFID and cellular positioning will continue, led by the mass market. GNSS will remain the main source of location information outdoors, especially outside cities. Interference concerns are growing and research will be intensified to cope with this vulnerability as well as the challenge of constraints in terms of power usage and working indoors.
Diani concluded by noting that funding is available under the H2020 programme. Funding of €65 million was provided in the first two calls in 2014 and 2015 for 40 projects. The next call will open in November 2016 and will target transport, mass market applications and professional applications.
Topic: GNSS and LBS for smart cities
Speaker: Slayer Chuang (Kuo-yu), CEO, Geothings
Chuang suggested a good definition of a smart city is as a place where "annoying things are done by someone else or something". He cited several examples of solutions where ordinary people use modern Apps to report problems for someone to fix. For example, fixmystreet is an App in the UK which allows users to report the status of public streets (such as damaged grass, blocked drains or potholes) to the government by taking and submitting a picture at a location which is automatically recorded and reported. This gives precise information to authorities for them to act upon. Open311 used in Boston in the United States uses the same principle to report non-emergency problems.
During a recent typhoon in Taiwan, there were 10,000 reports of damaged trees to Taiwan's 1999 (non-emergency hotline). Chuang demonstrated a "heat map" that showed areas where no action had been taken, which could be used to get authorities or volunteers to take follow-up action. He is also working with the city government to give them reports from citizens, who can then forward these to responsible parties.
Chuang also showed how a map of an earthquake area (quakemap) could use reports by people to identify which areas are most in need of help during a disaster rather than deploying sensors, which could be damaged in an earthquake.
Chuang also has a solution to a problem seldom thought about: where would you take shelter in the event of an earthquake? His idea is to use an open source map and open licence platform which would display all shelters on the map. Volunteers would be able to update maps and the maps could be downloaded so that they could be used offline if the internet is down. Humanitarian organisations would be able to use these to plan risk reduction and disaster response activities that would save lives.
Topic: GNSS and the internet of cars
Speaker: Edoardo Merli, Director of Marketing and Applications, Automotive Product Group, Greater China & South Asia Region, STMicroelectronics
The Internet of Things coupled with GNSS is creating a significant demand boost for capabilities in all market segments, from consumer to industrial, medical, military and communications. Positioning accuracy is a key factor in the IoT revolution that will improve use and safety. Interaction between cars and things and devices is becoming more complex. There is a need to process large amounts of information. To make convergence affordable requires low cost low power and integration. Autonomous driving requires integrating sensors and positioning that are reliable for safety reasons and affordable.
Multiconstellation receivers multiply accuracy by acquiring and tracking simultaneously any mix of GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo and QZSS signals. Given advances in positioning accuracy and the integration of radar and sensors, we are close to fully autonomous driving, according to Merli. The next step is to resolve ethical and legal issues (such as liability for accidents) and work out the best business models.
Merli concluded that the combination of GNSS, sensors and IoT will increase mobile/wearable capabilities, increase positioning accuracy on cars and wearables, augment the multi-dimensional digital experience and increase the number of new services across new applications.
Topic: Secured GNSS solutions and opportunities in the greater China area
Speaker: Simon Sun, General Manager, GNSS Business Division, CEC Huada Electronic Design Company
Sun introduced his company, which started producing GNSS chips two years ago, specializing in chips for smart cards. The company is now the largest chip designer for smart cards in China and is shifting focus to IoT solutions.
The ecosystem for GNSS devices is important for China and Europe. 220 cities in China have plans to upgrade to smart cities now but there is huge potential for others follow suit. China is investing in smart grids and the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) invested US$45 billion to improve efficiency. According to Sun, around 250 million smart meters were installed in China in 2013.
There is great market potential for IoT, which will also be a source of income for governments. While it is generally agreed that a connected world is beneficial, concerns of privacy, security, accuracy and ownership rights still have to be addressed.
CEC is working on system on chip (SoC) solutions to address security concerns. The company is seeking to cooperate with EU device manufacturers to develop additional unique features.
Topic: IoT and the smart city
Speaker: Van Lin, Director, Head, Digital Logistics & Fleet Management Sector, Smart Transportation, Advantech
Advantech is a world leader in embedded PCs focusing on smart transport, retail, healthcare and logistics and fleet management. The company provides key system components for more than 5,000 products including many devices for buses, ambulances, forklifts and trucks.
Lin introduced his company's solutions for in-vehicle diagnostic monitoring and real time reporting of driver management and behaviour as a way to monitor driving behaviour, improve safety and reduce costs associated with fuel usage and maintenance. For example, he explained solutions developed with partners to help improve performance, like a real time driver coaching system to remind drivers to adjust their behaviour to increase efficiency through audio alerts when drivers are not driving well. According to Lin, up to 10% in fuel costs savings can be realized through this system. The company's biggest project is in China where 10-12,000 ambulances use their fleet management systems.
Topic: Sensor solutions for IoT applications
Speaker: Greg Huang, Regional Sales Manager, Taiwan & SE Asia, Bosch Sensortech
Bosch Sensortech is a subsidiary of Bosch working on Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS). Bosch invented MEMS process 25 years ago and this has had significant implications for the semiconductor and electronics industry. For example, the micro-gyroscope would not possible without this invention.
The first wave of MEMS sensor proliferation took off in the 1990s, spurred by automobiles. The second wave, since 2005 has been driven by consumer electronics devices. Before this no motion sensors were used in electronics. The next driver of MEMS is IoT.
In this new era, traditional application boundaries will get blurred and there will be a lot of cross-industry disruptions. For example, Google's autonomous cars will change the automotive market entirely since the car will become like a driving multimedia device while various applications now on mobile phones will be distributed around the body.
To realise the potential of IoT requires the development of technology (such as sensors) as well as the successful integration of various components. According to Huang, the biggest challenge is that there are too many players and a lack of standards. Big companies need to work together to come up with and agree to standards. Moreover, further improvements are needed to make chips smaller and more energy-efficient.
GNSS for wearable products: Sensor-assisted positioning
Speaker: Max Lai, GNSS Specialist, Tom Tom
Lai talked about developments in wearables such as sensors in sports watches, which include GNSS, inertial, magnetic, pressure, bio, environmental and proximity sensors.
GNSS works well outside but there is a need other for other solutions indoors or where there are high rise buildings, tunnels that block satellite signals. This is a problem for wearable devices. One way to mitigate this is an accelerometer, which estimates position based on step lengths, distance and average speed. Further improvements in accuracy can be made by incorporating gyroscopes.
Geofencing is a key component of contextual awareness, which are needed for real-time use of LBS. However, geofencing technology tends to use too much power. Low power geofencing is achieved by employing inertial MEMS sensors and putting GNSS receivers in hibernation mode as long as possible and only activating them when needed.
The final panel discussion was moderated by Rainer Horn, GNSS.asia Coordinator and featured presenters Simon Sun and Stephen Su as well as Giuseppe Izzo, General Manager of STMicroelectronics & Vice Chairman of the ECCT. The moderator summarized and discussed with panelists some of the major trends as outlined by the presenters. He also presented an update of GNSS.asia's planned programme of activities for the next few months.