The Chinese BeiDou GNSS will become truly global
The Chinese BeiDou GNSS will become truly global in 2018. After launching nine BeiDou 3 Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites in 2017, China plans 13 more MEO and GEO (Geosynchronous Equatorial Orbit) satellites this year.With a total of 32 satellite launches from 2017-2020, China is throwing a lot of resources into a constellation that will compete with GPS, Galileo and GLONASS. The Asian powerhouse has an eye on the huge economic benefits associated with ownership of satellite navigation, and will probably mandate the use of BeiDou in China for critical applications or segments.
When you consider the forecasted market for GNSS devices globally is nearly eight billion devices by 2020 (Source: GNSS Market Report 2017)—or more than one device for each human on Planet Earth—it’s unsurprising that China is pursuing this market. While the U.S. claims the biggest share of GNSS market revenue from manufacturers, integrators, and service providers, Europe is in second place (albeit a long way behind the U.S.). The globalisation of China’s BeiDou system will only cause its portion to rise, probably overtaking Europe. Many commercially available consumer chipsets already have BeiDou 3 capability built in, so this trend will be worth watching closely over the next few years.
In China, the BDS navigational system helps millions of people do everything from ordering a taxi to tracking a delivery. In the U.S., GPS has simply become a way of life.
“By agreeing to work together on a consistent standard, it should make the process of developing future chips and other things that use GPS easier. Remember that GPS is used in smartphones, it’s going to be used for autonomous driving, it’s going to be used for a lot of applications in the future,” said Bob O’Donnell, TECHnalysis Research Chief Analyst.“BeiDou has made quite some progress in recent years. The precision and some features are really good. I think this kind of cooperation will help the localization part for self-driving cars. Self-driving system is very complicated engineering task. It’s better to cooperate and leverage different industries, different companies, to leverage their best technologies to get this technology available, publically available sooner so people can benefit from this technology,” said James Wu, DeepMap Co-Founder & CEO
Shows how their technology combines GPS, inertial measurement unit sensors, HD Cameras, and light detection and ranging sensors to help a self-driving car create a memory of its surroundings.
“The map tells the car what the road should look like if there is no other moving object around it. You will see some green lines. This is where we use our machine learning capability to derive traffic rules to help cars cross intersections,” Luo said.
GPS currently plays just a minor role in self-driving cars. But industry experts agree that a growing exchange of information and partnerships between the two biggest markets in the world is a positive sign. They also hope it will lead to increased cooperation in other areas of technology to enhance innovation worldwide.
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