Two Cheap Sensors Could Transform GPS Navigation

Illustration for article titled Two Cheap Sensors Could Transform GPS Navigation

A team of Spanish researchers has developed a way to vastly improve in-car GPS navigation—and all it requires is some cheap, extra sensors.

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It's one of those why-didn't-they-think-of-that-earlier moments. By adding accelerometers and gyroscopes to a car's navigation system, the researchers from Spain claim that they can pinpoint a car's location to within 2 meters. That's far better than the current commercial GPS used in cars, which manages about 15 meters at best, or up to 50 meters in heavily built-up cities.

The best bit, as the BBC reports, is that such a system could be retrofitted to any car, and it wouldn't be particularly expensive. The newly added sensors simply provide accurate speed and direction information, which combined with the GPS data provide more accurate results. The team is even planning to try and integrate the technology into a smartphone:

"We are now starting to work on the integration of this data fusion system into a mobile telephone. It can integrate all of the measurements that come from its sensors in order to obtain the same result that we have now, but at an even much lower cost, since it is something that almost everyone can carry around in their pocket."

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And that sounds like a direction we'd all like to go in. [BBC]

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DISCUSSION

redesigned
redesigned

i was told that the limited resolution of accuracy on consumer GPS devices was not due to the satellites or the receivers, but rather a international law passed by the UN mandating the resolution of civilian GPS devices to only a certain accuracy for military reasons. military GPS is much more accurate.

was this total BS? or is there some kernel of truth to this? anyone know?