In-car safety

Title: Global Navigation Space Systems: reliance and vulnerabilities

Organisation: The Royal Academy of Engineering
Date uploaded: 9th March 2011
Date published/launched: March 2011

This report claims that society may be so dangerously over-reliant on satellite navigation systems that its failure could result in a loss of life.

Free
Society may be so dangerously over-reliant on satellite navigation systems that its failure could result in a loss of life, suggests a report published by The Royal Academy of Engineering.

The report looks into the increasing use of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), which US operated GPS systems is best known for implementing.

As well as satnavs, the signals are used by data networks, financial systems, shipping and air transport, agriculture, railways and emergency services. But according to the report, all GNSS applications are vulnerable to failure, disruption and interference.

The report looks at a range of possible consequences of these, from the inconvenient (such as passenger information system failures) to possible loss of life (such as interruptions to emergency services communications).

The real threat lies in ‘dangerously misleading’ results which may not seem obviously wrong, the report claims.

There is also a concern over the criminal use of jamming equipment to bypass GNSS systems - easily available technology can be used to block tracking of consignments of goods or to defraud systems that collect revenue using GNSS (such as toll-road charging).

For more information contact:
The Royal Academy of Engineering
T: 020 7766 0600

External links: