Mobile navigation services are already a standard feature of smartphones. Now things are trending toward mobile navigation that is possible even indoors. In a joint project, Fraunhofer Portugal and the University of Porto are attempting to achieve seamless navigation in millions of indoor square metres using ultra-low-frequency magnetic field communication. For their work, an international expert jury named the two research institutes this year's Galileo Master. Their innovative navigation system for smartphones managed to best over 405 competition entries from more than 40 countries and take home the EUR 20,000 grand prize in the ninth European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC).
With the successful launch of two additional Galileo satellites on 12 October, the next step towards the operative phase of Europe's navigation system has begun. The applications rewarded at the Munich Residenz this evening will soon be able to build on the first Galileo time signals.
Winners have been selected for 24 regional prizes, five special prizes, and two prototyping prizes. "The strong international response to this year's ESNC has once more proven its ability to boost innovation on a global scale. In close cooperation with our European and global partners, an excellent network has been established to create added value for satellite navigation technology," Bavarian State Minister Dr Wolfgang Heubisch stated in his opening speech of the Awards Ceremony.
The prizes were awarded by prominent representatives from the European GNSS Agency (GSA), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), and this year's ESNC title sponsor, HPI Fleet & Mobility AG.
The overall winner 2012 is a project that uses ultra-low-frequency magnetic field communication (ULF-MC) to ensure seamless, reliable navigation even indoors. The method earns its "seamless" label by enabling smooth transitions from satellite-based external navigation to ULF-MC-based navigation in indoor areas (such as department stores, underground parking garages, and airport facilities). This year's Galileo Master award was accepted by Dirk Elias on behalf of Fraunhofer Portugal and the University of Porto's Faculty of Engineering. The winning navigation solution, which already works on today's smartphones, is the result of a joint project involving these two research institutions.
Second place in the overall competition went to the winners of Bavaria's regional prize, Alexander Rügamer and Manuel Stahl from the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (Nuremberg, Germany). Their groundbreaking idea uses the encrypted Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS) for real-time validation of georeferences and localisation while respecting related privacy concerns. The various applications fields (especially those related to mass markets) could see use, for instance, in implementing tolling systems or securing banking transactions.
Coming in third was Great Britain's regional winner, iGeolise Ltd., for its currently one-of-a-kind search engine. Following the notion "time is more valuable than distance", the Travel Time Platform displays search results to users based on travel duration; in other words, it provides the destinations people can reach within a specified timeframe. The application has already gone live commercially across the UK and been successfully tested in most major European countries.
"Connected vehicle" prototype from Taiwan earns title of Galileo Pro
Along with the distinction of Galileo Master, this year's ESNC also conferred the title of Galileo Pro - the overall winner in the Prototype category - for the first time. Dr Jim Li, Chief New Business Officer at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) of Taiwan, presented the "Connected Vehicle" Prototype Prize to Wei Li and his team at the Taiwanese company HAITEC. The team developed an innovative driver assistance system based on three modern technologies, including the vehicle-to-vehicle communication system DSRC (dedicated short-range communication). This facilitates interaction among drivers, enabling them to warn one another of hazards on the road or remind others to switch off their high beams.
We've also enclosed an overview of all of the winning innovations from 2012. Images of the Awards Ceremony will be downloadable from 5 a.m. on 26 October 2012 http://www.galileo-masters.eu/download/award2012/esnc_picture.zip with further visual material on the individual winners and their ideas available by request.
Discover more applications at the European Space Solutions conference in London
European Space Solutions - a major three-day conference, exhibition, and business support event - will take place from 3 to 5 December 2012 in London. It will bring business and the public sector together with users and developers of space-based solutions to explore how space can make a real difference in the lives, and livelihoods, of people across Europe. www.space-solutions.eu
About HPI Fleet & Mobility AG
HPI Fleet & Mobility AG is Europe's leading independent fleet management company. In 16 countries, it offers a unique service portfolio that covers the entire value chain, from vehicle procurement to remarketing. Along the way, it manages all fleet-related activities for its clients and processes their financial transactions. They thus benefit from single consolidated reports and invoices that meet their accounting standards.
HPI Fleet's business strategy is driven by its aim to convert modern fleet management into a holistic mobility management approach. It is centred around the individual's need for seamless and sustainable mobility. For more information, please visit: www.hpifleet.com
About the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC)
The ESNC is an international competition that recognises the best ideas in the field of satellite navigation every year. From companies and research institutes to students and other independent individuals, anyone is free to enter. The only thing that matters is your idea! The submission period typically runs from 1 April to 30 June at www.galileo-masters.eu.
The ESNC was inaugurated in three regions in 2004 under the patronage of the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs. Since then, the competition has transformed into a network that embodies innovation and expertise. The new partner regions in this year's competition are Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Ireland, North America, Poland, and Portugal, bringing the total to more than 20 regions competing for the distinction of having produced the overall winner - the Galileo Master. For more information, please visit www.galileo-masters.eu
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