Beidou is China's independently developed global navigation satellite system. And the system is ready for more civilian applications, especially use in automobiles.
Beidou is China's independently developed global navigation satellite system. Its name means the Big Dipper. And the system is ready for more applications on the civilian markets, especially for automobiles.
After years of development, Beidou has launched its newest module, which it claims has improved accuracy and reliability.
"GPS is a single-mode application. But we what are offering with our new module now is a system that can combine Beidou and GPS services, so that the accuracy and reliability can be improved," said Lin Hongzheng, from China Electronics Tech. Group Corporation.
Developers say the current Beidou system has achieved positioning accuracy within one meter. And when it comes to domestic applications, there is still plenty of room for improvement.
"Domestically in later development, the accuracy can be further improved with ground stations. Hopefully, it will be able to position vehicles in different lanes of a road," said Hu Jinmin from Shenzhen Road Rover Technology.
Pricing has always been a struggle for Beidou hardware. The market price of the new module has come down to less than 30 yuan, or US$5, similar to that of a GPS.
Lin Hongzheng said, "This year, from modules to end products, the Beidou system is ready for massive production and ready to compete in the market."
Experts believe China's indigenous navigation system is crucial for the country's information system development.
"It's important for a country to take control of its electricity, water, and oil supply. Now, when it comes to the modern world, data security has an equally great impact in the country," said Sun Jiadong, member of Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The plan is for Beidou to eventually have a constellation of 35 satellites and to be ready to provide geo-positioning for global users by 2020.