The Swiss manufacturer u-blox has released new firmware (version 3.01) for its M8 family of GNSS receiver modules, which adds support for the European Galileo satellite network. This augments existing support for various satellite navigation systems, including GPS (USA), GLONASS (Russia), BeiDou (China) and QZSS (Japan). The modules can track up to three satellite constellations concurrently.
When the Galileo system is fully deployed, it will provide an additional 24 satellites for global navigation. The availability of correction signals from satellite-based augmentation systems (SBAS) will also be significantly better than with existing GNSS systems, further improving position accuracy in urban environments. The u-blox M8 modules additionally support the Galileo-based eCall system, which enables vehicles to automatically call an emergency number in the event of trouble or an accident. This system will be mandatory in all new vehicles starting in 2018. The M8 modules are also suitable for ERA GLONASS, the Russian equivalent of eCall.
The upgrade firmware for existing M8 devices is available on the u-blox website. New modules with V3.01 firmware already installed will be available in the second quarter of 2016.