Why and How GPS fails many times?
Many of you might have faced the problem of the wrongs directions provided by the GPS. It might have happened that at the end moment it changes the earlier provided directions. This could lead many to troubles and I’m sure even frustrated. It has happened to me many times.
Today in this article I’ll be telling you the reason behind the failure of the GPS. But before that, let’s see what it is and how does it really works?
What is GPS?
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is an amazing Portable Navigation Device (PND) used to guide us to our destinations avoiding the traffic areas. It also helps us in finding the cheapest Gas stores and restaurants available nearby.
How GPS works?
There are 24 GPS satellites which orbit at about 12,000 miles above the earth surface. The satellites take less than 24 hours to complete two full orbits around the earth with the speed of 7,000 mph. These satellites transmit the radio signals to the receivers on the earth including the one in your smartphones.
U.S. Department of Defense launched the first GPS satellite in the year 1978. It was after this that the GPS satellites were made available for commercial use.
GPS Receivers calculate the exact location of the users with the help of this information as well as triangulation. Triangulation helps in determining the exact distance between any two points.
They calculate the time taken by the satellite to transmit the signal and the time taken by it to receive the signal on earth. This calculated time difference helps the receiver to identify the exact location of the satellite as well as the user.
Thus, these Receivers provides this user location information to the digital maps. The licensed mapping software data is provided from Tele Atlas (a subsidiary of TomTom) or Nokia’s HERE division (NAVTEQ) to the smartphones Navigation-app and PND developer.
Map software databases which include Point of Interest (POI) data also provides information about other businesses, landmarks and places on maps. This helps users to locate nearby gas stations and other traveling destinations routes.
The Traffic Data provides the real-time traffic updates by continuously collecting multiple information regarding road speeds from various mobile devices, connected cars, and other vehicles. This information is then transmitted to remote servers using other cellular networks.
Traffic databases combine the information from multiple databases like weather forecasts and other details regarding the road construction. These real-time traffic updates are then provided back to the user device which helps them to navigate the traffic updates.
To provide the destination routes to the user, GPS smartphone apps and PNDs performs many calculations through multiple data sources. An algorithm is used to combine information coming from different sources. All these information which comes from multiple sources are combined and transformed into directions that monitor and speak to you.
This algorithm analyzes the stored PND base maps, receives the satellite signal and your destination input. It then uses this algorithm to provide the user best route to travel to their location with traffic updates.
Why GPS Fails?
GPS Navigation can fail due to multiple reasons like environmental factors, such as clouds, dense forests and tall buildings. The quality of the receiver in your smartphone can also block the signal transmissions between GPS satellites and receivers.
Outdated maps which require manual updates also result in providing the faulty directions. Changes in the current traffic situation, poor connection because of which it again recalculate the current location after retrieving signal.
Apart from its failure, many are still continuing to use it because of its real-time traffic update feature. With an increased use of GPS apps on smartphones or PNDs, navigation will become more efficient in the coming future. It has helped people become more comfortable with sharing location-based information.