New GPS service begins using Michibiki satellites
NHK -- Nov 02
Japan has launched a new GPS service accurate to within several centimeters thanks to its Michibiki satellites.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and former astronaut Naoko Yamazaki attended a ceremony in Tokyo on Thursday to mark the start of the location service.

Government officials say the around-the-clock service was made possible by the launch of 4 Michibiki satellites between 2010 and 2017.

Devices able to pick up signals from the satellites can greatly reduce the margin of error from the current 10 meters.

The government plans to launch 3 more satellites by fiscal 2023 to beef up the system.

Abe said GPS is now indispensable, as more and more gadgets like car navigation systems and smartphone map apps come to rely on it.

He said Michibiki is turning a new page in history and that he is thrilled to witness how the new service will bring positive changes to people's daily lives.

The government aims to make use of Michibiki satellites in the development of self-driving vehicles, fully automated farm machinery, and drone delivery services.

News source: NHK
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