ThingPark Location for
multi-technology tracking solutions

Combining low-power multi-technology trackers with a modular location engine to unlock the value of LPWAN-enabled geolocation.

Tracking and logistics are one of the key IoT solutions

The tracking and logistics market is one of the key drivers of the IoT boom. With millions of containers and pallets traveling around the world, and the exponential increase of the transportation industry in a globalized environment, tracking assets and  goods in a cost efficient way became a key technological challenge. Low power IoT tracking solutions are addressing  this issue  by ensuring low power consumption for maximise battery and minimize operational cost. 

The Actility ThingPark Location solution combines low power communication using LoRaWAN, with advanced location solving algorithms and low power location technologies using Wifi and GPS with patented optimization for low power IoT constraints.

Geolocation location solution providers are facing several challenges

High cost cost

Most trackers are using cellular connectivity today which is expensive, especially in roaming scenarios. Associated to the impact of frequent battery changing or charging, the operational cost is too high for most business cases.

Low battery life

The impact of cellular  connectivity and standard GPS on battery consumption is enormous. Trackers usually last for less the one week in standard location scenarios. This has an impact on the use case and the business case.

Indoor-outdoor continuous coverage

Most assets are crossing various environments: inside warehouses, outdoor on pallets, inside tracks, in shops etc. Standard GPS is not able to work in all environments, making seamless tracking uses difficult to implement.

Actility proposes a 3-layer solution to cover all tracking use cases and needs

ThingPark X Location infographics

Tracker hardware

Actility-brand Abeeway develops LoRaWAN based trackers. Embedded with a mix a location technologies such as GPS, LoRaWAN, Low Power GPS, Wifi and Bluetooth allowing to provide location data in all coverage scenarios.

Key features
  • Tracker for industrial use cases with large battery and industry-level casing
  • Consumer tracker
  • GPS, Wifi and Bluetooth chips
  • LoRaWAN backhaul
  • Additional sensors such as accelerometer and temperature sensor

IoT optimised firmware

IoT connectivity is a data-constrained environment. The Abeeway tracker firmware is able to select the best location technology based on the environment, ensuring that battery life is always preserved. This allows Abeeway to propose battery  lives that can last for months and years.

Key features
  • Ability to solve GPS location locally on the sensor or remotely on distant server for better power consumption
  • Wifi sniffing with ability to send Wifi SSIDs over LoRaWAN to remote wifi location solver
  • Embedded algorithm can with between location technologies to choose the most adapted one based on context
  • Bluetooth Low Energy beacon ID sniffing and ability to send them over LoRaWAN to BLE location solvers
  • The additional embedded sensors such as the accelerometer allows to customize in real time the behavior of the device. For exemple, send data only a motion is detected.

Multi-technology location solver engine

Location solving is a power-hungry feature and is best done on a remote server instead of the tracker hardware. Actility combines LoRaWAN network-based TDoA (Time difference on arrival), GPS, Low-Power assisted GPS, Wif sniffing and Bluetooth Beacon ID exposition. Using a unique API set, the location data can be easily integrated with third-party business applications.

Key features
  • LoRaWAN TDoA solver
  • Connection to remote Wifi solvers such as Google or HERE
  • Unique API to expose location data, independently of the location technology used
  • advanced geolocation processing engine to deliver value-added geolocation service (and not only raw geolocation information) : geofencing, matching
  • Keep developing our geolocation algorithm to improve performance and accuracy while preserving sensors battery life : DA-GPS, sensor data-fusion, BLE

What is Low-power GPS ?

Abeeway white micro tracker packshot
Low power GPS allows to drastically reduce location power consumption

With standard GPS approach, the location computing is done on tracker, thus making the device consume high amounts of battery power. With Low Power GPS, the location is computed on a remote server. The tracker sends only raw GPS data to the location server who will combine it with real time satellite position almanach to evaluate position with a similar level of precision.

Learn more here:

What is LoRaWAN TDoA

ThingPark Location Server infographics
The LoRaWAN technology allows to estimate the location of all devices uging triangulation

LoRaWAN is non-synchronized radio technology, which means that any LoRaWAN gateway in range will uplink the data to the central network server. If 3 or more Gateways are in range, a time difference-on-arrival can be estimated for packets and a location can be calculated. LoRaWAN gateways are time-synchronized using GPS receivers in the gateways. 

The precision of the location is very sensitive to radio environments but precision between 20m in open areas and 100m in urban areas are average values. 

As only LoRaWAN is used, it is the most power efficient location technology and fits many use cases where meter-precision is not required.

Learn more on the Abeeway dedicated website

Use cases

Consumer tracker with Orange in France

Tracking raindeers in Finland

Discover “C’est ici”, a LoRaWAN tracker offer by Orange in France. “C’est ici” allows customers to track any goods (bicycles, cars, bags, pets etc.) in real time and with a battery life of several months.

Reindeer herding is a traditional activity in Lapland, now made easier by the IoT. Finnish herders are harnessing Digita’s national LoRaWAN network to track and protect their animals. Actility reported on Rovaniemi’s herders in Rovaniemi when the pilot started in October.

Learn more during our latest webinar on multi-technology geolocation

This webinar with Actility’s Rohit Gupta and Olivier Hersent and KPN’s Bart Hendriks aims to reply to the following questions: What are the market opportunities and use cases enabled by IoT Geolocation? What are the benefits of multi-technology geolocation? What are the benefits of using LPWAN technologies (LoRaWAN, NB-IoT, LTE-M) for connectivity? How LPWAN-enabled Geolocation will evolve in the future? How is Actility building multi-technology geolocation platform?