You can’t help but be smarter when it’s over

Joel Gibson, VP of Engineering at Swift Navigation

We recently caught up with one of our speakers Joel Gibson, VP of Engineering at Swift Navigation ahead of AutoSens Detroit. Joel will be discussing “High precision GNSS as a critical component of ADAS and Automated Driving” on day one at AutoSens in Detroit (14-17 May 2018, Michigan Science Center, Michigan)

You’ve recently joined Swift Navigation after being at Magna Electronics for 17 years, are you enjoying the change of scenery?

Absolutely! It’s energizing to be a part of a high power team developing cutting-edge technology.

Tell us about your session at AutoSens 2018, why is precision mapping important for ADAS and Autonomous driving?

The control and decision systems in ADAS and automated driving require precise location data to function safely and effectively. GNSS, of which GPS is a part, is the only sensor that can provide absolute position, velocity and time and is not affected by weather conditions. GNSS is a complementary technology to other relative localization techniques and sensors (such as LiDAR, RADAR and Camera) in that they all have very different strengths and weaknesses.

How is Swift Navigation’s technology approach going to support development of new products in this environment?

Swift Navigation has developed high-precision GNSS technology specifically for automotive applications from the very start. This is not simply an application of existing technology in other markets to automotive; rather our solutions were designed specifically for the automotive use-case to be robust, precise, fast and affordable. We’re making great strides toward our mission of enabling a future of autonomous vehicles to navigate and understand the world.

What technical challenges still remain in this field?

The timing is perfect for this technology in that all the right planets are aligning: new lower-cost but high-performance receivers, updated antenna technology and Swift Navigation’s purpose-built automotive technology are all becoming mature.

Who should attend your session at AutoSens, and who are you hoping to see in particular?

Anyone who is developing ADAS and automated driving systems will benefit. I look forward to seeing OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers and other partners.

Winter sports are a big part of your life, how did that start?

I grew-up in Michigan, and at a young age, you either stayed inside and avoided the snow or found ways to have fun outside. Snowmobiling, skiing, sledding, skating – it’s an activity paradise for a kid. How could I resist?

Has teaching and volunteering with young people helped your professional career?

Absolutely. The fundamentals are the same: show the way (lead by example), keep the instruction simple, encourage the good, give quick, direct and respectful feedback on the not-so-good.

As a Michigan local, do you have any recommended sights or experiences to recommend?

We really have it all. Detroit is a city in rebirth – take the chance to see history in action. The Henry Ford is a world-class experience. And outdoors, there is something for everyone – I suggest taking the time to visit the 2000 acre Silver Lake Sand Dunes. It’s unlike anything you will see elsewhere in the US.

AutoSens Detroit is coming back bigger and better this year, what are you looking forward to?

There is so much depth and expertise in one place, you can’t help but be smarter when it’s over.


Come along to AutoSens Detroit to hear from Joel Gibson. Tickets available here >>

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