Car Navigation




When you start looking into car navigation systems, you get a feeling that it is like buying a smart phone.  There are many products and many features and you end up trying to customise a product closely to your habits, preference and even the touch and feel of the product.

Autoquarterly sets out the 10 Best Car GPS Navigation Systems in 2019 and they include:

1.  MingAo GPS Navigator System

2. Garmin Nuvi 57LM GPS Navigator System

3. Garmin DriveSmart 60 NA LMT GPS Navigator System

4. Tvird Car GPS Navigation system

5. Garmin Drive 50 USA LM GPS Navigator System

6.  TomTom VIA 1515M GPS

7. HighSound Navigation System

8.  SHENEN GPS Navigation

9. Magellan RoadMate 1220 GPS Navigator

10. TomTom VIA 1535TM GPS Navigator





Looking through different reviews, each one will have their own rating and own criteria to what makes a great GPS system.  For the ordinary user or consumer, the idea of what is preferable is probably more about the functions than the technical features.  Does it work?  Can I understand it?  Is it easy to use?

And the discussions on the use of satellite navigation systems is even more important now as we embark on the R&D of autonomous cars in an ever- connected society.  Major vehicle manufacturers are now delivering motor vehicles with connected services for drivers, including real-time traffic and weather reports and accident or road works warnings. More applications are on the way, and the technology systems that support them will enable the increasing number of autonomous vehicles that will soon be cruising down our roads and highways.




For Galileo and the Global Navigation Satellite Systems, they offer more than just navigation, including:

  • Precise navigation systems
  • Autonomous vehicles and assisted driving
  • Cooperative ITS
  • Usage-based insurance schemes
  • Road pricing and congestion charging
  • Automated eCall distress signals
  • Intelligent speed adaptation




There are clear advantages for having GNSS within the connected car, and whilst there are many options and discussions including on sensors, perhaps it is best to say there is added value in combining different features.

Think of the idea of reducing expensive sensors and saving cost on infrastructure at the same time.  Accurate and secure GNSS could do both.

The concern of cyber security is there.  At the Rise of AI conference I spoke of the hypothetical situation of an autonomous vehicle car attack and how we would respond to it.  Whilst it is fictitious, it is not so far fetched that we could not possibly imagine it happening.




According to Anna Stylianou of SBD, “As vehicles become completely autonomous, they become more reliant on connected services and GNSS, and even “driver fall-back” in case of error will no longer be an option,” she said. “As a result, the risks associated with hacking or GNSS jamming and spoofing will be even greater.”

GSA Deputy Head of Market Development Fiametta Diani says

Galileo will also have an authentication signal to detect intentional interference, such as spoofing attacks. “This authentication feature is essentially a digital signature that will be available on the E1 Open Service frequency, but also on the Commercial Service E6 frequency, which will certainly be interesting for autonomous driving,” said Diani.

A good reference point to the latest would be the CES2019 gadget show and this year there appears to be less focus on self-driving cars.  There are various reasons why, though perhaps as the conversations on autonomous cars becomes more serious, manufacturers and certain providers need vigorous testing to ensure it is safe.

Executives from Audi, Toyota, Cruise Automation, chipmaker Nvidia, Google spinoff Waymo and several startups are gearing up convince the public that autonomous vehicles are safe.

Moreover, regulators and policymakers are also having to think about how would we best incorporate autonomous vehicles on the road.  There are various conversations and schools of thought on how best to do this, and perhaps it is fair to say, these conversations cannot be had separate to the developments in the shipping, air and space field – primarily the conversation on traffic systems.




Whilst they could be seen as totally separate sectors, the concerns arise when there are hybrid, mixed features where vehicles could potentially rise above airspace or go into deep sea water.  It is thought of that the passenger economy is worth $7 trillion USD which clearly exceeds all of the space sector.  Moreover, it is thought that American commuters spend around 250 hours a year in their car, equivalent of six 40 hour work weeks annually.   Whilst this may not be the case overall, it provides a good idea of what the potential autonomous vehicle could be, particularly when we are talking about hands-free driving.

The Autonomous Vehicles event in Silicon Valley Feb 2019 is going to focus on:

  • Data & Sensors Technology
  • Connectivity & Data Storage
  • Testing – Virtual & Physical
  • Transitioning AV Hardware & Software
  • Public Sector Integration & Regulation
  • UX & HMI for AV
  • Scalability
  • Mobility as a Service





In terms of content, they go into:

1. Transitioning autonomous hardware and software from testing to production – a scaling challenge

2. Optimizing AI and machine learning for safer and better performance by developing complex perception algorithms

3. Developing systems for the miles and miles of Big Data capture, cleaning and labeling

4. Maximizing connectivity and storage for data transfers and processing

The future that we see is limited to our imagination and currently the focus and energy is on how do we make it happen.  The desire is there, the technology is getting there and it is a matter of putting it all together.



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What do you think of the role of navigation systems for autonomous cars?

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