Next-gen GPS puts its best foot forward

Next generation GPS chips will permit global localization to within 30 cm, a big step forward for self-driving vehicles among other applications. Broadcom has announced that their next generation GPS chips will use less battery, work in urban canyons, and will have an accuracy of 30 cm. Current GPS units have an accuracy of 3-5 meters, sufficient to determine which turn to take to navigate around a city, but not accurate enough for self-driving vehicles. 

“Todd E. Humphreys, associate professor of engineering at the University of Texas, said that one of the key advantages of autonomous vehicles is the ability to send them down the road in tight formations called “platoons.” Cars would be separated by just a few yards, reducing wind resistance by drafting like NASCAR drivers do, slashing fuel consumption and dramatically increasing the number of cars that could fit on a highway. But platooning will work only if each car knows its exact location, down to the foot.”

Read the full article featuring Dr. Humphreys.