Current navigation methods for autonomous vehicles include multiple sensors that scan the surface features of the road and its environment. Among the many technologies used, such as LIDAR, RADAR, cameras, and GPS, and their various subsystems, each instrument provides various grades of accuracy, consistency, and availability. Each of which requires the successful mapping of surface details. An idea was made- What if we used subsurface features to localize the vehicle location?
Engineers at MIT Lincoln Laboratory developed Localizing Ground-Penetrating Radar (LGPR), and have demonstrated that changes in soil layers, rocks and road bedding can be used to localize vehicles to centimeter level accuracy.
In 2017, GSSI entered into a licensing agreement with MIT Lincoln Laboratory to build and sell commercial prototypes of their Localized Ground Penetrating Radar (LGPR) system. The prototype sensor uses step continuous wave frequency radar, consisting of a high-resolution 12 antenna array system.
LGPR, if proven successful, will offer an alternative technology whose data is relatively immune to weather conditions; is generally unchanging, since it measures subsurface soils and geology; and is independent of the above-ground references on which other modalities depend.