China is planning to launch its own GPS system – one that will rival the GPS system in the US.
At a news conference yesterday in Beijing, Liu Jingnan, a world renowned GPS technology specialist, said that China will start to offer a GPS service aimed at drivers in 2012. The new GPS navigation service for drivers will use own China’s own GPS satellite system named, aka Beidou.
Currently, the Beidou GPS system is mainly used for military navigation and to monitor agriculture and the fisheries, and also for big engineering projects. This will be the first time the Beidou GPS system has been connected with civilian use and an alternative to the currently dominant United States GPS navigation system.
According to experts at the GPS technology conference, the cost of the new Beidou GPS chips will costs less than chips in the US. Jingnan said each chip will would sell for about 100 yuan ($15). Other experts pointed out that this price would require government subsidies.
China started working on the Beidou GPS Navigation System over 10 years ago, in 2000. Last year, China sent 5 Beidou satellites into orbit. China has announced plans to have 12 satellites in place to form a network that covers the Asia-Pacific region by 2012. A global network is expected to be completed in 2020.
“It will create a huge market if Chinese people can use the country’s own GPS system,” according to Yang Yuanxi, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Source: China News Daily, Xinhuanet.com