Today, the use of the car GPS navigator when travelling has become practically indispensable. This system, which allows determining the exact position of the vehicle anywhere in the world, was developed by the U.S. Department of Defence for military use. But in the 1980s, civilian use began to be permitted.
How the GPS System Works
GPS (Global Positioning System) satellites rotate around the earth several times a day to acquire data and transmit it to repeaters. These repeaters use the information received to find the exact location of the user by means of triangulations.
If the GPS system is connected to three satellites, it can calculate a 2D position (latitude and longitude), while if it is connected to four or more satellites; it can determine the position in 3D mode (latitude, longitude and altitude).
GPS has numerous user profiles thanks to the multitude of applications that this technology can offer sailors, cyclists, surveyors, professional and non-professional drivers, and so on.
Types of GPS for cars
Today, it’s strange to start a journey without a car GPS navigator, whether portable, integrated in the same vehicle or in a smartphone application. In addition to locating the vehicle and proposing different route options according to the criteria specified by the user; car GPS indicates the route to follow in real time and provides information on the time of arrival.
In the market, there are different connected and intelligent GPS models that can offer services such as information on points of interest, detection of the maximum speed allowed on the road, location of radars, real-time traffic status information, warnings of incidents on the planned route, and so on. All these services make this system a very useful driving assistant.
The car GPS navigator interface must be clear and intuitive in order to facilitate interaction with the user as much as possible. The display should also be anti-glare so as not to disturb the driver and make it easier to see.
In the latest generation of vehicles, car GPS navigators are integrated in the instrument panel, in the centre console or projected onto the windscreen using head-up display technology. This new technology makes it easier for the driver to see and provides extra safety, as it allows the driver not to take his eyes off the road. In addition, the integrated systems allow attenuating functions of the multimedia apparatus to avoid that they can distract the driver.
Integrated GPS navigators have the advantage of using the vehicle’s own antenna, so the signal is usually more powerful than a mobile phone or portable car GPS can pick up. This will be highly valued especially when used in areas of low coverage.
It should be noted that many GPS antennas are integrated in roofs, windscreens, rear windows, mirrors, etc… Therefore, replacing them requires an adequate professional service.