Cambridge startup signs deal with European tech giant to solve critical weakness in GPS

u-blox has signed a deal with the Cambridge-based technology company, Focal Point Positioning, to integrate technology that will improve the accuracy and reliability of GNSS devices - enhancing positioning performance and security for growing applications such as smart cities, location-secure IoT and health and fitness wearables. 

The patented Supercorrelation technology solves a critical weakness in GNSS caused by multipath interference. Multipath interference occurs when satellite signals bounce off buildings and landmarks, causing GNSS receivers to provide degraded positioning outputs. The result for users is that the blue dot on their phone or device may be in the wrong place, moving in the wrong direction, or may have a large error ellipse. For autonomous vehicles it could lead to positioning errors that place the vehicle in the wrong lane or worse. Supercorrelation also helps with the detection and rejection of GNSS spoofing signals - an increasing concern for autonomous vehicles, ships, and aviation.

Focal Point Positioning CEO Ramsey Faragher commented: “We are tremendously excited to be working alongside a market leader such as u-blox. Our mission is to improve every positioning system on the planet and this deal has afforded us a giant step towards our goal. Positioning systems are so critical to our world, and we look forward to seeing the next generation of products and services that will be enabled by this higher level of accuracy, reliability and security."

u-blox CEO Thomas Seiler commented: “The addition of Supercorrelation technology into our latest GNSS platforms is part of our continuing focus on low power consumption, higher accuracy and security for automotive, industrial, and wearable GNSS applications."

FocalPoint was founded in 2015 by Cambridge Don, Dr Ramsey Faragher. The team includes alumni of the UK aerospace industry, The European Space Agency, Cambridge, Oxford, UCL and Imperial College. Investors include: Passion Capital, IQ Capital, Cambridge Angels, Rockspring Nominees, Cambridge Innovation Capital and Demis Hassabis. Its technologies have been awarded by the UK’s Royal Institute of Navigation and the US Institute of Navigation.