Actility launches vehicle tracking solution for the US with demo at Cisco Live

location tracking

The Actility Newsroom

Actility launches vehicle tracking solution for the US with demo at Cisco Live

Actility, the industry leader in Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) and location solutions, today announced the availability of a vehicle tracking solution for the US market. Combining Abeeway Master Tracker hardware with Actility’s ThingPark™ IoT software platform and Cisco LPWAN gateways, the solution was demonstrated at Cisco Live in Las Vegas earlier this month. Using an app on their smartphone or public screen to determine the arrival time of the next shuttle bus between their hotel and the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre, any of the almost 30,000 visitors to the event could avoid queuing in the Nevada heat for their ride.

“Tracking buses driving in unpredictable traffic to avoid waiting in line is a really simple, basic application of the power of our LPWA geolocation solution,” explains Actility CEO Mike Mulica, “and it demonstrates very clearly how easy it is to deploy that solution in the real world and deliver benefits to customers immediately. Of course, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. We believe that geolocation is probably the killer app for the IoT globally. The US has been lagging behind the rest of the world in deploying LPWAN solutions, and we can see the American market is now beginning to accelerate rapidly, and we’re ready for that. The same solution that’s tracking buses around the Strip is ready to transform other industries like vehicle fleet management or logistics. For example, we can find one specific car amongst the thousands in a leasing company’s parking lot, or track refrigeration units and vehicle chassis nationwide for a containerised cold-chain distribution company.”

“Cisco is constantly looking at consuming new technologies – Cisco on Cisco – as a way to optimize the services we offer to internal users, partners and customers,” says Cisco Distinguished Engineer Patrick Grossetête, “For the first time, a global LoRaWAN service was deployed at Cisco Live for Cisco and partners running demonstrations but also to pilot new services that may improve the 28000 participants’ user experience. For example, deployment of outdoor LoRaWAN gateways and trackers in shuttle buses, allowed real time monitoring to optimise the wait time in the Las Vegas hot weather. Such successful demonstrations raised the customers LoRaWAN awareness and led to many discussions on how applying asset-tracking to customers’ environment could improve their business.”

Abeeway Master Trackers, operating on the 915 Mhz ISM band frequency required for the US market were installed in many of the 150 shuttle buses that circulate in the area of the southern Strip in Las Vegas, carrying attendees from their hotels and the airport to the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre. Although the distance is only a few miles, traffic congestion and multiple stops make the arrival of the shuttles at any stop unpredictable, and the round trip can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. Using the tracking application and mapping software, travellers could see the location and progress of each of the shuttles on its journey.

Actility is a Cisco Preferred Solution provider, and Cisco installed an LPWA network to cover the Cisco Live event and support a number of applications, of which shuttle bus tracking was only one. To provide outdoor coverage for the entire southern Strip area from Las Vegas Airport to the Caesar’s Palace Hotel, only three gateways were required, installed at the Mandalay Bay, Cosmopolitan and MGM Grand hotels.

Demonstrating the flexibility of LPWA geolocation, the trackers were programmed to send location data every minute when the vehicle was moving, but only once an hour if the bus was stationary and parked. The Abeeway Master Tracker is a self-contained industrial product with an internal battery giving a life in the field of up to several years, so tracking is not dependent on power from the vehicle being available. The tracker also uses Actility’s innovative “Low-Power GPS” technology specifically optimized for LoRaWAN, which allows fewer satellites to be used for a fix and reduces the GPS lock time to a few seconds. The power required for both signal acquisition and processing is reduced: this combination results in a remarkable increase in battery life, by an order of magnitude versus existing GPS location technology. Using this low-power GPS the shuttle bus trackers were able to achieve an overall location accuracy of around 2m throughout the 5-day duration of the trial deployment.

“We’re delighted to be working with Cisco in demonstrating the power of geolocation,” concludes Actility CEO Mike Mulica, “and we’re convinced this very successful trial is just the first step in an accelerating journey together to deploy solutions that will rapidly trigger the digital transformation of logistics, supply chain management and transportations services throughout the US.”

ENDS

About LoRaWAN

LoRaWAN is the global standard developed by the LoRa Alliance™ (lora-alliance.org ) for low power, wide area (LPWAN) communications for the Internet of Things (IoT). LPWANs are designed to support use cases in which battery life can be measured in years -often 10 years or more, ensuring a very low total cost of ownership (TCO) for mass IoT applications such as connected buildings, metering, smart cities and agriculture. LoRaWAN is supported by major global network operators including Orange, Comcast, NTT, Softbank, Proximus, KPN, Swisscom, and solution vendors such as Cisco, Foxconn, and Semtech Corporation.

About Actility & ThingPark™

Actility is the industry leader in LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) large-scale infrastructure and the innovator behind the ThingPark IoT Solution platform. Actility’s ThingPark enables scalable LPWA networks and interoperable IoT applications and services. ThingPark Wireless is a core network management and supervision solution for LPWA connectivity designed from the beginning for carrier-grade solutions, and already deployed in over half the national LPWA network rollouts globally. ThingPark OS is a central IoT management service to connect sensors to applications. ThingPark X is a data analytics and control framework which exposes data from connected things to applications and connects with cloud platforms, and also offers off the shelf IoT industrial applications. ThingPark Market is a B2B ecommerce platform aggregating, distributing and connecting IoT devices and applications to the ThingPark platform. Actility is a founding member of the LoRa Alliance. (http://www.thingpark.com/en)

Actility acquires Abeeway, creating a world-leading portfolio of location technologies

Actility acquires Abeeway

The Actility Newsroom

Actility acquires Abeeway, creating a world-leading portfolio of location technologies

Abeeway aquisition by Actility signature
Actility CTO Olivier Hersent (centre left) welcomes Abeeway founder Florian Sforza (centre right) to the Actility team (Photo: Éole – http://eole.me – for Actility)

Actility, the industry leader in Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) today announces that it has acquired Abeeway, the geolocation system specialist. By combining Abeeway’s patented location software and innovative products with the power of Actility’s ThingPark platform, the acquisition will give Actility a best in class portfolio of IoT location services to support service providers and IoT solution vendors across a wide range of industry sectors. The acquisition is Actility’s first following a $75m. fundraising round supported by new and existing investors, which is intended to enhance its technology portfolio and accelerate worldwide growth.

“We’re seeing massive demand for location-aware IoT solutions from industry,” says Actility CEO Mike Mulica. “We’ve been rapidly developing our ThingPark Location platform to deliver powerful tools to service providers and our customers in the tracking ecosystem. As a long-time partner with Abeeway, we saw great potential in adding their patented assisted GPS (A-GPS) technology and expertise in tracking to the capabilities of our ThingPark platform. This combination offers game-changing geolocation capabilities from an accuracy, speed, power consumption and TCO standpoint. We’re creating an IoT location platform that will enable a revolution in the logistics and supply chain sector. In fact, we think that geolocation and tracking are potentially the killer app for the whole of the Internet of Things.”

Abeeway is already a market leader in tracking devices offering on-demand geolocation, movement alerts or geofencing. These trackers use GPS signals to determine their location, but energy-efficient LoRaWAN communication to pass that location to a tracking application, so in comparison with trackers using cellular networks, they offer much longer battery life. 

Since the first LoRaWAN tracker was presented by Abeeway in 2015, Abeeway has continuously improved IoT tracking solutions, developing the first patented low power GPS (A-GPS for IOT) as well as data fusion to optimize localization & power consumption.

Major players have already selected Abeeway products such as the Master Tracker and Micro Tracker. Becoming part of Actility’s rapid growth will allow us to leverage their market leading LPWA platform and global reach to satisfy the massive market demand for IoT location use cases. Abeeway products will also continue to be available for every LPWAN network.

Florian Sforza

Abeeway Founder

Actility logo

The unique advantage of our platform is its ability to serve a huge variety of use cases by combining different location technologies including network-based TDoA location, GPS and A-GPS, Bluetooth beacons and wi-fi “sniffing."

Our customers can optimise their solutions to precisely match the requirements of their target use cases.

Olivier Hersent, Founder and CTO

Actility

The key innovation developed by Abeeway, providing a powerful competitive advantage to Actility location services, is an assisted GPS technology specifically optimized for LoRaWAN, which allows fewer satellites to be used for a fix and reduces the GPS lock time to a few seconds. The power required for both GPS signal acquisition and processing is reduced: this combination results in a dramatic increase in battery life, by an order of magnitude versus existing GPS location technology.

“We’re delighted to be bringing the Abeeway team and portfolio on board to pioneer this next evolution of IoT technology. Together we’re going to create a truly revolutionary global capability for the next generation of IoT solutions” concludes Actility CEO Mike Mulica.

ThingPark Location services will be accessible through APIs, which, coupled with the bidirectional capability of the LoRaWAN link, will allow developers to manage geolocation according to the needs of their application. For example, in an asset tracking and theft prevention scenario, the application may use low-power consumption network-based location to “geofence” a vehicle, raising an alert only when it strays outside a defined area. But if the vehicle breaks through that geofence, then the application can request regular GPS-based location updates to enable the vehicle to be traced in real time and recovered.