A team of researchers from the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission’s in-house science service, has outperformed a global mix of 27 teams from academia and industry, achieving the best overall result at a recent Microsoft-sponsored indoor localization competition in Seattle – and 3D, real-time LiDAR sensor technology from Velodyne proved to be key to the victory.
The competition, organized annually by Microsoft, gathers teams to evaluate the performance of various localization systems. Providing accurate position information on people and objects indoors, where GPS signals are not available, has long been a challenge for governments and industry. The competition was carried out in two categories — infrastructure-based systems, pegged to installed radio beacons, and infrastructure-free systems, which rely only on sensor readings. The JRC competed in the infrastructure-free category, where it finished in the top spot, with a localization error of 0.2 m, which also surpassed the best result in the infrastructure-based category.