Does VAZ GLONASS want?

    The content of this post does not belong to me, but to Marina Rozhkova, an independent GPS / GLONASS consultant in Russia. The text of the letter is provided “as is”. From me there is only clearance.

    “Again you have to fly along Belomor!” (C)

    Does VAZ GLONASS want?

    Following the latest news

    On May 21, 2009, Russian mass media got around the news that AvtoVAZ was planning to begin installing navigation equipment with GLONASS support on its LADA PRIORA and LADA KALINA vehicles as early as 2009. The news provided links to specific project documents. Also at the Navitech-EXPO 2009 exhibition, which was held in Moscow in mid-May 2009, the public was presented with a LADA PRIORA car with a working GLONASS-GPS navigator integrated in the front panel. The car had a state. numbers with the region 163 (Tolyatti), which indirectly confirmed the veracity of the news.

    The reaction to the news about the integration of GLONASS in domestic cars was significant - the news went around almost all the media (both news and automobiles), the topic was actively discussed on the radio, in blogs and forums. But the essence of the reaction was different. There were quite expected reviews: “It would be better if the car was built into LADA.” There were also positive feedback, including those who pointed to the global economic meaning of the news: such integration of GLONASS into domestic cars could give not only a number of competitive advantages to the domestic auto industry, but also become a real impetus for the development of GLONASS in general, which lately has been quite noticeably “slipping”, including due to the lack of a full-fledged commercial market for installations.

    Soon the installation of GLONASS navigation on LADA was continued in the form of new informational “bursts”. I tried to collect all the information that additionally appeared on my topic on this document, which I want to share with you.

    A few hours after the first news came out, I was contacted by the press service of AvtoVAZ OJSC represented by Natalia Sidoruk. The essence of the conversation was as follows: "Our technical experts refute the essence of the news about specific plans for the preinstallation of GLONASS in LADA." To my objections that the news was based on specific project documents that by chance fell into my hands, and on a request to talk with these very unnamed "experts", the press officer hesitated and promised to call back later. No one called me back later.

    On the same day, in the evening, the following document was sent to some (not all!) Journalists:

    Let me dwell on it in more detail.

    Firstly, the document is not signed. Instead of the signature, “press center of OJSC“ AVTOVAZ ”appears. That is, not a specific company official, but the entire press service. The document does not have a personal author. There are no feedback coordinates on the document. The document itself is composed in MS Word. In the properties of the document, there is someone D. Metalnikov, but the topic of the document is designated as “The Board of Directors of OJSC“ AVTOVAZ ”passed in Moscow”. What does the Board of Directors have to do with it? It's not clear.

    The most interesting thing in the document is the essence. The essence can be interpreted in two ways. On the one hand, it is clearly written that "work is underway." On the other - that, OJSC AVTOVAZ “... currently does not have any contractual relationship ...”. That is, it is not clear: either the document confirms the existence of the GLONASS installation project in LADA, or it refutes. Ask some questions - collective creativity, no author!

    I tried several times to arrange a meeting with Ms. Sidoruk, to still get the information in full and first-hand. Ms. Sidoruk’s position regarding the meeting has changed several times from interest in the meeting, to the impossibility of such. Thus, I still did not understand whether VAZ had something to say on a topic that was exciting to the public, or there was nothing to say.

    In one of the telephone conversations, an explanation was given of the position of VAZ regarding the problems of implementing GLONASS navigation, which is as follows: We are not up to your (mine?) GLONASS. We have other problems now. The problems were called the filling of dealerships with new cars, the demand for which fell sharply with the onset of the crisis.

    I would like to note that the talk about embedding GLONASS was about LADA PRIORA, for which there is just no charge, the number of cars in the dealer network is minimal - this was explained to me in one of the major LADA dealerships. Warehouses are packed with older and less competitive models. Accordingly, it is not entirely correct to interfere all in one pile (both old and new models) and explain the braking in the development of the new model range by problems with the implementation of the old one - this can hardly contribute to the rapid and effective development of competitive products.

    Having made the unequivocal conclusion that the question is essentially much more complicated than it seems at first glance, I tried to get additional information. What is happening with GLONASS at the VAZ?

    First, I turned for official comments to the Russian company AutoAudioCenter, the owner of the Ural trademark, under which radio systems and other car sound systems were produced. Judging by the documents I had, they were the developers of the first navigation for LADA PRIORA. All that I managed to learn from them came down to the official one: “The project has a place to be. Yes, we showed the solution at the exhibition. We cannot disclose details without the consent of VAZ, as this is a trade secret. ”

    Meanwhile, on June 4, the following news was released:

    Unlike the first information that came to me, it speaks of a project that is planned to be implemented “for later”, more precisely in the fall. Here, the beginning of production is directly ascertained. Right now. Essentially the news, however, has a lot of questions.

    First, GLOSPACE is the first "domestic" car navigator with GLONASS support. In quotation marks - because it’s actually conditionally domestic: one of the Sino-Korean serial GPS navigators was taken and the receiver was replaced with a similar one with GLONASS support from the well-known developer of GLONASS electronics KB “Navis”, and the GPS antenna was replaced with a similar GPS GLONASS antenna manufactured by FSUE NII KP, which is the developer of the entire project. The navigator turned out to be niche, since it could not compete with GPS counterparts in terms of performance characteristics and, most importantly, in cost (at the time of the release of about 23,000 rubles). The scheme of possible placement of the aforementioned GLOSPACE navigator in cars is also unclear - the navigator has significant dimensions and you just won’t “fit” it into the car. In addition, the production of navigators is "half-piece", so the solution is also not conveyor.

    The news also quoted the words of Anatoly Perminov, the head of Roskosmos, saying that "the new device adds only 12,000 rubles to the cost of the car . " In fact, the appreciation is significant, since the cost of the simplest navigator in retail chains now is 3000-4000 rubles.

    I called the Research Institute of Space Instrumentation, the developer of the GLOSPACE device. Their response: “We do not confirm the news. The source of the information is not clear. ”

    That is, the news turned out to be misinformation. I wonder who could need to joke so much with the theme of the national project and even drag the respected head of the Russian Space Agency here?

    A week later, the following news appeared:

    Official information from JSC AvtoVAZ. In the version that fell into my mailbox, the press release was signed as a joint one from the press service of AvtoVAZ OJSC (why not a press center, as last time?) And from the Federal State Unitary Enterprise RNII KP.

    There are also questions about this news.

    First, it talks about conducting research. What work, to whom and why should I carry out when there is already a finished car with navigation? There was even a link on the Web to a certain GOST R 52456-2005 describing the technical requirements for car navigation receivers: 2052456-2005

    That is, standards all already have a place to be.

    Secondly, the news mentions the creation of a “joint working group with FSUE RNII KP to coordinate actions on the project of equipping LADA vehicles with integrated GLONASS / GPS receivers”. However, it is worth noting that the Federal State Unitary Enterprise “RNII KP”, as far as I know, itself does not have experience in developing specifically consumer navigation devices. In contrast to the same FSUE “NII KP” (these are two different structures, although both are engaged in GLONASS and are located at the same address: 53 Aviamotornaya Street, Moscow). FSUE "RNII KP" in itself has also never been seen in any work related to the standard automotive electronics. FGUP RNII KP also does not produce GLONASS-GPS receivers - they purchase them from other companies. In the same CB "Navis". What is the point of creating a working group with such a composition? The news is not deciphered.

    I contacted the press service (or the press center? J) of AvtoVAZ OJSC to clarify the essence of what is happening. Again I asked the question: “Is there a project or not?” In response, it was said that, most likely, “there will be a tender”. To the question of which tender is planned to be held if there is already a joint statement with the Federal State Unitary Enterprise “RNII KP”, it was said that this does not mean anything, and the Federal State Unitary Enterprise “RNII KP” was apparently chosen because it “has been cooperating with him for a long time”. But the tender will still be.

    The essence and purpose of the planned studies could not be explained to me either. To the direct question, “Did the joint working group study the developments of other companies — FSUE NII KP, AvtoAudioCenter?” The answer was that nothing was known to the press center.

    I note that this is a statement of telephone conversations, I refused to give comments by mail on this issue.

    From my point of view, the thesis of the press release was also doubtful that “it is necessary to solve a wide range of issues ... Thus, the development of Russian cartography is required, since LADA cars are used throughout the country, including in regions for which it has not yet been drawn up detailed maps. "

    The fact is that the development of cartography is just limited by the fact that in the regions there is no installation base for navigation devices, there is no sufficient market for these devices on which to use these navigation maps. That is, map-making companies are not interested in investing in covering regions where navigation devices have turned out once or twice. But Russian companies in the commercial sector have long mastered the production of navigation charts of various sizes and very deep informational content. The issue of covering normal regions with maps of most regions is a technical and commercial issue, but in no way requiring some deep, lengthy and expensive research. Here, as Alexander Sobkevich, TeleAtlas Sales Director for Russia and the CIS, commented,

    “Navigation requires accurate maps with the correct geometry of roads, restrictions on travel, speed, junctions and other road attributes. To collect them you need to drive along each road. Navigation chart companies collect navigation data for commercially attractive regions, covering regional centers and major highways. For small towns and most roads, there are only basic, unspecified maps on a scale that precludes detail. The mass installation of GLONASS navigators can stimulate map manufacturers, as the navigation market will expand. In addition, modern technologies allow updating the geometry of roads and composing the majority of necessary navigation attributes based on data from users. Thus,

    I summarize: the creation of a joint working group for conducting some research has been announced, the essence of which, the goals and timing, cause a lot of questions.

    After reading the latest news, a journalist friend commented as follows: “Well, what? Well done - organize research. Normal thing! And what is research? Research is a) long; b) expensive, because you have to pay for it; c) without guarantees of result. Have you never seen many years of research work, the only result of which is a “puffy” document with a report that is poorly applicable in practical work? ”

    What conclusions can be drawn from all this history? I would venture to make my assumptions:

    Firstly, the topic, apparently, is really hot. And not so much for AvtoVAZ itself, but for those who are “spinning” in the GLONASS theme.

    Secondly, AvtoVAZ, it seems, has not yet decided on its attitude to GLONASS. Or, as often happens in large companies, it is commonplace for one hand to not know what the other is doing.

    One thing is clear - GLONASS is clearly interesting to the state. Namely, the state now almost entirely, albeit indirectly, controls the WHA, including subsidizing its development with very good money (the last tranche was, it seems, in the region of 25 billion rubles). VAZ is really the largest manufacturer of domestic cars, namely the automotive market is able to provide quick installation of hundreds of thousands of GLONASS receivers now. That is, VAZ can really stimulate the creation of the GLONASS mass consumer market, which can spur the development of the entire navigation industry in Russia.

    But the main question so far remains open: will GLONASS be at VAZs in 2009, or is everything we see a couple of new research projects without a concrete practical result?

    Also popular now: