Out in Front: If We Only Know Then What We Don’t Know Now

December 1, 2012  - By

Alan Cameron

Some of you have been asking questions, and while it is generally our business to provide answers, in this case I simply show these questions back to you, for instructive purposes.

They come from the 2012 State of the Industry Survey, reported in the September issue. In that survey, we posed one question whose results were not reflected in that report. It was “What questions do you think it would be interesting and illuminating to ask in the 2013 State of the Industry Survey?”

Herewith those questioning answers — er, those answering questions:

What effect will the aging satellite system have, and what are you doing to plan for an alternative?

Which industry is the most powerful to impose its technology standard? For example, it seems that any technology not compatible with mobiles or tablets is not alive anymore.

What is the estimated financial impact that GNSS have, and how would it affect your life if we didn’t have them?

With the technology of the GNSS equipment constantly improving, how important is it that the end user be a licensed professional?

The prices of Chinese products — are they directly affecting your sales, or  are your customers taking these low prices as a starting point for negotiation?

Should precision and accuracy be government regulated?

What will be the next game changer for positioning? Will it be all encompassing like GPS? Or will there be multiple positioning options depending on your need? (indoors, urban corridor, dense veg., accuracy needs, and so on).

How can the cost of modern survey equipment be subsidized for developing countries?

How long will multi-chip solutions maintain dominance compared to separated solutions where technological development and cost reduction is even faster?

How far away is a smartphone with differential GPS ability? [See “Real-Time Kinematic in Your Palm.”]

What alternative tracking methodology will replace GPS/GNSS as the most common?

What are the cost and practical barriers to innovating new consumer and business products? Are you willing to throw away existing products to distribute new products?

How accurate is good enough?

Is replacement of staff with technical skills a concern?

Should the recent demonstration of commandeer-via-spoofing have been so widely publicized — or should that development have been classified?

Have your customers expressed concern about GPS tracking and their privacy?

What will it take to get RTK GNSS receiver manufacturers to standardize on one correction data format? What portion of revenues is invested in GNSS-related research and development at your company?

What is the status of the National PNT Architecture jointly developed by the US DoD and DOT? Is it viable, or is it dead?

The FCC director was on drugs the day they granted LightSquared bandwith — true or false?

What would be the effect of a 1-hour, 1-day, or 1-week disruption in GPS be on your product? What is your backup system?

What will be the long-term consequences of the CBOC patent issue? [Note that while a story on this page give a short-term answer, long-term consequences of intellectual property concepts are far from settled. — Ed.]

Is there still room for a LightSquared type technology in the current broadband and spectrum governance environment?

What kind of disaster will be required to get the U.S. government off the dime on an uncorrelated-failure alternative PNT system?

Are commercial manufacturers considering offering more flexibility in their receiver designs (open-source GNSS). Open hardware is an interesting trend.

What’s next after GPS III?

Will the COMPASS system gain general acceptance in 2013-2014?

Tell us more about the future.

[That last was my favorite question, one after my own heart. For any other questions you may have, or any answers for that matter, or if you have even a clue, please write to me at editor@gpsworld.com. I’m listening. — Ed.]

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