Study says modern civilization without GPS would be in trouble

Study says modern civilization without GPS would be in trouble


From smartphones to trains, ships and space shuttles, the Global Positioning System (GPS) is an indispensable tool. Today, the world population depends a lot on this technological tool that helps to find the exact geographical location of some point.

The importance of GPS is such that the National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2019 made a report on the losses that the United States would have if they did not have the geolocation system. According to the report, the American nation would lose a billion dollars a day, between losses in the agricultural sector, ridesharing services and location-based last-mile deliveries.

Alan O’Connor, economist and director of innovation at RTI International, explained that positioning, navigation and timing signals are very important to any industry. “GPS is indispensable for any application; if we didn’t have this tool today, it could only mean economic losses,” he added.

Both GPS and its namesakes GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System), Galileo in Europe, GLONASS in Russia and Beidou in China, play a vital role in countless economic activities. For example, vehicle fleets in delivery companies are essential since mistracing a route or making a mistake in deliveries means economic losses for companies.

Similarly, the fishing industry collects spatial information on those companies that have great commercial importance for the market in Asian and European countries. This information is obtained from a GPS model called Tracker, which is placed inside the boats. With the system, the route is traced to analyze the route allowing to know the movement patterns of the marine specials.

When a GPS system fails, the economic impact becomes considerable in the industries or companies that depend on it. In 2017, the UK Space Agency estimated the economic loss when the GNSS navigation system failed for 5 days. The loss in roads, marine systems and emergency services was 5.2 billion pounds (7.2 billion dollars).

Experienced economists project that an economic loss in 2021 from a disruption in GPS systems could be 88 percent higher compared to 2017. A failure in geolocation systems could mean a high cost, however, Experts claim that a mistake in all at the same time or in general is almost impossible.

Today, location data has become very widespread, according to studies, and the last decade has seen a sharp increase in the value of global positioning systems. It is largely due to the rise of smartphones and internet penetration, as this enables a boost in modern consumer solutions.