Posts Tagged ‘GPS’

From Yards to Inches: Improving GPS for Autonomous Vehicles

Technology will also improve smartphones and wearable tech.

by on Feb.16, 2016

At least 24 of the GPS satellites are needed in orbit to ensure all parts of the planet are covered.

Originally developed for military use, the Global Positioning System has transformed civilian life, as well. It allows us to find friends, restaurants and stores using a myriad of consumer devices, from iPhones to built-in automotive navigation systems.

But the real test of the GPS system is fast approaching. The technology is likely to become essential to the operation of the autonomous vehicles set to start rolling across our highways early in the coming decade. The satellite-based guidance system will be paired up with laser, radar, camera and other sensors that will demand levels of accuracy measured in inches, rather than yards, which is the best the current GPS system can deliver.

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A new development by the University of California, Riverside could hold the key to getting there. And their research could payoff in improvements in other consumer products, as well, from mobile phones to wearable technologies.


Mercedes-Benz Has Most Satisfied Shoppers, Says JD Power

Explaining high-tech features critical to increasing shopper satisfaction.

by on Nov.13, 2014

Automakers providing new vehicle buyers with assistance in the use of new technology in their vehicles are seeing customer satisfaction scores rise.

Motorists have come to expect the latest high-tech features in the cars they buy. Ironically, that’s also a frequent cause of customer frustration, buyers struggling to figure out how to pair a phone or plug in a destination.

Manufacturers that hope to keep customers happy – and loyal – need to ensure that product specialists spend time at the showroom explaining how to make that technology work, according to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates. Having the right staff on hand is one of the key reasons why Mercedes-Benz topped Power’s latest Sales Satisfaction Index, or SSI.

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“With such tech-heavy vehicles today, introducing product specialists into the sales process helps improve the delivery process and customer understanding of how to operate key features,” explained Chris Sutton, vice president of the automotive retail practice at J.D. Power. (more…)

Is Satellite Navigation About to Crash?

GPS network may start to fail by 2010.

by on May.20, 2009

Whether built-in or purchased aftermarket, GPS navigation systems are becoming ubiquitous - but the satellite network that makes them work could soon fail.

Whether built-in or purchased aftermarket, GPS navigation systems are becoming ubiquitous - but the satellite network that makes them work could soon begin to fail.

“Please, turn left in one-quarter mile.”

By now, almost anyone with an automobile has become familiar with satellite navigation.  It’s made it possible for motorists all over the world to find remote and obscure locations – and forget how to get to the nearest 7/11 on their own.

Each year, more and more cars come factory-equipped with “navi” systems, and countless more drivers opt for the windshield-mounted, aftermarket systems that have become some of the most popular gifts at Christmastime, according to retail expects.  There are also handheld systems, and even some of the latest smart cellphones, such as Apple’s iPhone, rely on the network of up to 32 mid-orbit satellites that constantly broadcast precise signals that, by comparing several signals simultaneously, can be used to predict location, altitude, time and velocity.

But what happens if the satellites start to fail?  That’s a potential problem that could begin to become reality as early as next year, according to a new U.S. government report. (more…)