- Feb 12, 2010
Despite 'Big Brother' barbs, Europe looking at pinpoint GPS car tracking
Navigation systems are quickly becoming commonplace even on the cheapest new cars and trucks, and the European Commission is working to use technology to make the systems far more accurate than the current technology allows. The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service, or EGNOS, is already online in Europe, and the European Commission is encouraging navigation providers to utilize the technology to make directions far more accurate than they are now. As an example, Wards Automotive quotes sources who say EGNOS can improve the accuracy of nav systems from 10 to 20 percent versus nav systems without EGNOS.
Europe is also launching its new Galileo satellites, which also use EGNOS tech. Two are already operational and the plan is to have up to 18 satellites in space and 40 units to cover the world by 2017. The European Union is reportedly working on its own GPS tech so that it doesn't have to rely on the U.S. military for data.
Improved navigation accuracy will make navigation users, providers and OEMs happy because directions will be more accurate, with fewer commands like "please make a legal U-Turn" in the middle of a freeway. Opponents to the measure fear that the government can begin tracking all GPS-enabled vehicles on the road. Speed trap cameras could theoretically be replaced, with satellites tracking your speed and whereabouts at all times. Will that ever happen? Who knows, but we're thinking that even better-functioning GPS devices is a good thing.
[Source: Wards Auto - Sub. Req.]