The European Union has launched a new satellite location service that dramatically enhances the accuracy of the existing US GPS system.
The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) uses three satellites in geostationary orbit over the EU to refine standard GPS signals, improving the accuracy from 10 metres to just two.
"What we are doing today opens the door for European businesses and citizens to benefit from the myriad of better applications and new opportunities made possible by more precise navigation signals," said Antonio Tajani, EU vice president for Transport. "We are laying the foundation stone of a very imminent future."
Tajani hopes that the move will spur new business models such as road pricing and a range of location-based services.
EGNOS is not part of the EU's Galileo satellite GPS system, which is expected to go live in the middle of the next decade, but will be integrated into it.
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