Konica Minolta Laboratory Europe is connecting academic research with industry. That is why Tomáš Jankech and myself, from the Brno laboratory, participated to the IEEE 15th Workshop on Positioning, Navigation and Communications (#WPNC18), held on 25-26 October 2018 at the Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany. We presented a paper on ‘Low-Cost Car Park Localization Using RSSI in Supervised LoRa Mesh Networks’, which describes the technology powering ‘The Shepherd’, an IoT solution that can improve the customer experience, profits and much more for automotive retail.
A frequent customer experience (CX) problem for dealerships with several hundred cars on site is quickly locating those cars that the customers want to see or test-drive. The delays in finding cars cause huge economic losses for dealerships (read our complete analysis on IEEE IoT).
In this paper, we present an RSSI-based localisation solution that relies solely on the LoRa technology without requiring any anchors (more details here). It is primarily designed for large used-car dealerships. Cars that need to be tracked are fitted with battery-powered tags that send each other plain LoRa messages and then report over LoRaWAN the observed RSSI to the server. The server estimates tag coordinates using multi-dimensional scaling and a novel corrective transformation based on tag clustering. We designed a low-cost tag for RSSI measurement and an energy efficient solution for managing a mesh of about 1000 tags on one site using time division multiplexing. The tags are fully controlled and synchronised by the server. To stay synchronised for several hours until a next downlink the tags estimate and compensate the real-time clock error. Large-scale tests are yet to be performed, but lab-based and small-scale tests in real conditions show a maximal position error of 8 meters and a predicted battery lifetime of 5 years.
We also presented a working prototype of the localization technology using a private LoRaWAN server. The Shepherd is ready to be offered on a trial basis, as either a hosted or managed service.
More details here:
Gotthard, T. Jankech, “Low-Cost Car Park Localization Using RSSI in Supervised LoRa Mesh Networks”, 15th Workshop on Positioning, Navigation and Communications (WPNC), pp. 1-6, Oct 2018.