VSI Labs is Perfecting the Autonomous Vehicle with Honeywell IMU Technology


As the leading researcher of active safety and automated vehicle technologies, VSI Labs is on a mission to help set the standards for successful self-driving cars. At its proving ground outside of Minneapolis, the company tests a multitude of component systems for automakers and automotive industry suppliers. To enhance its work on localization—the precise understanding of where an autonomous vehicle is at all times—VSI Labs relies on Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) from Honeywell.

“You could not build an automated vehicle without an IMU device,” says founder & principal advisor Phil Magney. “When you are operating an automated vehicle, the vehicle needs to have as much intelligence as possible to understand where it is….The IMU helps reduce the error rate and maintain a trajectory that's closer to ground truth.”


“Honeywell is the best partner to have for a variety of reasons,” says Magney. The Honeywell device’s size, speed, and accuracy were key selling points, along with great customer support. “Whenever I have a question about the IMU or need help getting something set up, it's really easy for me to reach out to the Honeywell product lead,” says Matthew Linder, Autonomous Solutions Engineer, Team Leader, at VSI Labs. “He'll get back to me right away, and will even offer to come by if necessary.”

Magney views Honeywell’s IMUs as the linchpin for the success and safety of autonomous vehicle systems, and values the suite of advanced technologies Honeywell has developed to enhance the performance of IMUs in autonomous vehicles, particularly its correction services. These advanced devices couple the IMU with GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) services, says Magney. “We look forward to being able to apply those technologies in the next build, which we're actually undergoing now.”

"I would certainly recommend Honeywell IMUs for a variety of applications. They provide really accurate raw data and always stay well-calibrated.” —Matthew Linder, Autonomous Solutions Engineer, Team Leader, VSI Labs