In a recently published patent, electric car maker Tesla outlines plans to develop a software that aims to use other vehicles on the road as Earth-based GPS satellites. Such a system would allow Tesla to improve its fleet’s positioning accuracy, even in areas where GPS signals are usually compromised, according to the company.The car maker states in its patent’s background that while GPS signals from space-based satellites are invaluable, factors such as satellite geometry, signal blockage, ionospheric perturbation, and atmospheric conditions, among others, can affect the accuracy of GPS receivers. Because of this there is a need to develop a system that can greatly improve location accuracy, mainly as it would be utilized extensively by full self-driving vehicles.The patent, titled “Technologies for vehicle positioning,” describes a software that allows vehicles to send signals and positioning data to each other. This solution allows the cars to function much like Earth-based GPS satellites, feeding positioning information to other vehicles on the road. Tesla notes in its patent that the software is flexible, being capable of operating via at least one network protocol, such as Ethernet, a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)/lnternet Protocol (IP), or others.
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