California Researches Invent New Positioning System More Accurate Than GPS

Global Positioning System, an essential powerful navigating tool which takes us to our desired destination is a blissful guide in disguise. In the early 1960s, GPS was conceptualised as a space-based navigation system that allows a receiver to compute to its desired location and velocity by measuring the time it takes to receive radio signals from overhead satellites. Standard GPS yields position measurements accurate to approximately 10 meters due to various error sources.


But according to the researchers of University of California, they have found a technology to develop a more advanced and highly reliable navigation system which will use the existing environmental signals such as cellular and Wi-Fi.

With this new technology we can actually develop a navigation system that can be used by autonomous vehicle and driverless cars which will be guided to drive to the destination point.

The research team in UCR’s Bourns college of engineering explains why GPS will not meet the needs of driverless cars?

  1. GPS signals are weak and cannot be used in environments like deep canyons.
  2. The signals are vulnerable to jamming
  3. They are not authenticated

According to them, instead of adding more sensors, the need was to develop autonomous vehicles that could easily tap any signal around us at any point of time.

These existing communication signal is stated as “Signal of opportunity for navigation” (SOP). Where GPS fails in driving autonomous, this system can be used by itself. The theoretical analysis of SOP, building specialised software-defined radios that will automatically detect relevant information from SOP’s. This will develop practical navigation algorithms followed by testing on unmanned drones.

Their ultimate goal is no human intervention while mapping, search, delivery, etc.

This research was presented at the 2016 Institute of Navigation Global Navigation Satellite System conference in Portland, Oregon.

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