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Spirent builds custom solution for RTK service launch

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A leading global telecommunications provider aimed to launch a Real Time Kinematic (RTK) service in the USA, focusing on providing highly accurate positioning for self-driving cars in the automotive industry. As a newcomer to the RTK service market, they engaged Spirent's services for independent testing and benchmarking against three incumbents in the RTK service space. The goal was to evaluate the performance and resilience of their RTK service and ensure it meets the high precision and reliability required for self-driving vehicles.

Spirent's Professional Services conducted a comprehensive RTK service assessment in California, USA. The test included a 1000-mile circular route from San Francisco to Los Angeles and eight static performance tests in different locations to assess overall positioning accuracy. California's complex environment allowed for thorough testing, and Spirent's expertise ensured high-quality data and findings. 

The setup involved four identical automotive-grade receivers and a truth survey-grade receiver connected to a common RF antenna with identical RF paths. Spirent captured field data simultaneously from all vendors and provided reference truth data with this custom test setup. 

The findings revealed that RTK availability was consistent across services at approximately 93% for all test data. Outages occurred due to drops in 4G signal availability and receiver cold starts. Vendor A and Vendor B receivers spent 94-95% of the test route in a Fixed state, while Vendors C and D measured 83% and 55% respectively. Vendor D's receiver experienced longer convergence times, leading to a temporary loss of Fixed state during signal obscurations, affecting its performance compared to competitors. 

Spirent delivered an independent and unbiased set of results, including a heatmap showing how the customer's RTK service ranked against competitors in specific conditions, recorded data and logs from the project, and a comprehensive report with actionable recommendations. 

By characterizing the availability and performance of the RTK services along the 1000-mile test route, the customer ensured their service met strict target performance criteria for a successful launch. The abundance of collected data allowed detailed reconstruction of events and assessment of accuracy, timing, availability, and usage potential of the correction data, enabling the customer to make further improvements to their RTK service. Spirent's expertise and high-quality test data were instrumental in the successful launch of the customer's RTK service. 

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