Baidu Maps Announces BeiDou Satellite-Enabled Upgrades

Baidu Maps appears to be continuing to phase out GPS in favour of the BeiDou satellite system, which touts better navigation functions and improved positioning services.

Credit: Xinhua

The Chinese desktop and mobile mapping solution announced on Friday, 30 September that it would be switching its intelligent positioning platform to BeiDou-powered priority positioning, as cnBeta reports. Along with this, a number of the app's functions are also receiving upgrades, including lane-level and parking space-level navigation.


For driving in fast lanes like highways, for example, Baidu Maps launched "lane-level accident warning", a new feature that scans for any roadside accidents ahead. If an accident is detected, the app would prompt drivers and dynamically guide them to avoid the lane in advance.


Meanwhile, for parking, the app includes features that help drivers find their parked vehicles and manage parking spots.


Baidu Maps says these features were enabled by the BeiDou satellite navigation system, which it describes as an important space information infrastructure for China. The app has over the years expanded the use of the satellite system across different applications and continues to do so today.

Baidu Maps navigation. Credit: Baidu

The BeiDou satellite system is China's space‐based navigation system. It’s reportedly designed to be interoperable with other global navigation satellite systems. The system is also up to a hundred times more accurate than the U.S. government-owned GPS, according to the Chinese Communist Party. This is because BeiDou can act as a two-way communication system that can pinpoint the precise location of any connected device. GPS, in comparison, tracks locations based on signals that are beamed out by devices.


China continues to push the reliability and accuracy of its BeiDou satellite system as it continues to position itself as superior to GPS. The South China Morning Post reports that the country recently struck an agreement with Russia to build satellite ground stations on each other’s soil. The move is meant to simultaneously improve the navigation performance of China’s BeiDou and Russia’s GLONASS satellites.


Apart from navigation, Baidu Maps claims that its services have helped over 2.55 million developers in automotive, travel, finance, logistics, tourism, and life service, among other industries.

 
  • Baidu Maps announced it would be switching its intelligent positioning platform to BeiDou-powered priority positioning.

  • Along with this, a number of the app's functions are also receiving upgrades, including lane-level and parking space-level navigation.

  • The app has over the years expanded the use of the BeiDou satellite system across different applications and continues to do so today.

  • The BeiDou satellite system is China's space‐based navigation system, which the Chinese government touts is up to a hundred times more accurate than the U.S. government-owned GPS.

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