Integration of GNSS and BLE Technology with Inertial Sensors for Real-time Positioning in Urban Environments

Huan Luo, Yaxin Li, Jingxian Wang, Duojie Weng, Junhua Ye, Li Ta Hsu, Wu Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The global navigation satellite system (GNSS) is widely used in smartphone positioning, but its performance can be degraded in urban environments because of signal reflections or blockages. To address these GNSS outages, pedestrian dead reckoning (PDR) is commonly used due to its significant improvements in both the stability and continuity of positioning, which are dependent on three key factors: continuous absolute position, heading and step information. Signals of opportunity are commonly used in positioning, whereas the installation of Bluetooth low energy (BLE) sensors on lampposts can provide an opportunity for positioning and heading estimation in urban canyons. In this article, a system integrating the GNSS, PDR, and BLE techniques is implemented in smartphones to provide a real-time positioning solution for pedestrians, which includes a new position correction method based on BLE heading, a reliable heading estimation integrating BLE and inertial sensors, an unconstrained step detection method with high accuracy, and an extended Kalman filter (EKF) to integrate multiple sensors and techniques. In several field experiments, with improvements in availability and robustness, the heading accuracy of the proposed fusion approach could reach approximately 3 degrees; the positioning accuracy achieved between 2.7 m and 4.2 m, compared with a 30 m error from the GNSS alone. Simultaneously, this system could achieve a high positioning accuracy of 2.4 m with unconstrained smartphones in a mixed environment. The proposed system has been demonstrated to perform well in urban canyons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9328421
Pages (from-to)15744-15763
Number of pages20
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2021


  • BLE
  • EKF
  • GNSS
  • PDR
  • heading estimation
  • positioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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