Garmin is one of the associates of the GPS Addition Alliance, a D.C.-based advancement group, focused on continuing to beforehand GPS technology. | Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Why one industry accumulation thinks Washington needs to do added to advance the life-changing aeronautics system.
The Global Positioning System, a accumulation of satellites that provides breadth and timing advice from space, is intrinsically affiliated to avant-garde life, enabling aggregate from turn-by-turn admonition on adaptable phones to every acclaim agenda or ATM transaction to attention aggressive strikes on the added ancillary of the world.
The GPS Addition Alliance, a D.C.-based advancement group, was created in 2013 to advice assure that civic resource. Its associates — Garmin, John Deere and Trimble — may assume to accept little in common, but GPS technology is analytical to all three companies in industries alignment from aeronautics to attention agriculture. But GPS impacts added than aloof the group’s members. The broader noncombatant bread-and-er allowances of GPS are estimated to be as abundant as $74.5 billion per year.
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With GPS arena such a acute role in the abridgement and civic aegis of the nation, the accord is ramping up its efforts on Capitol Hill and above beneath the new administration of David Grossman, who became controlling administrator of the accumulation in May. That includes accepting the accord on amusing media, blogging about the accent of GPS and casting a console for this year’s South by Southwest appointment on what a day after GPS would be like.
It additionally includes affair with a assorted accumulation of lawmakers, alignment from armed casework lath associates who appetite to apperceive added about the Air Force’s next-generation GPS III satellites to those on the agronomics lath who are absorbed in how GPS can advance attention agriculture. It additionally works with several federal agencies, including NASA, the Department of Business and the Department of Transportation.
“A lot of what I’ve been accomplishing is education,” said Grossman, who was ahead arch of agents to the arch of the Federal Communications Commission and formed on Capitol Hill as a aldermanic administrator for Rep. Anna Eshoo. “I’ve been focused on accepting the chat out about our alignment and introducing GPSIA to policymakers and industry stakeholders.”
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Some of his top priorities accommodate angry to accomplish abiding GPS has connected admission to the electromagnetic spectrum, a government-regulated set of radio frequencies appropriate to address signals, and advocating for connected allotment for the Air Force’s aing bearing of GPS satellites, which will eventually accompany consumers faster service.
Grossman additionally talked about legislation he’s tracking on Capitol Hill, the better misperceptions he hears from lawmakers, and what array of allotment he’d like to see for GPS in the budgetary 2020 account request.
This archetype has been edited for breadth and clarity.
What is the alliance’s mission?
The GPS Addition Accord was started aloof over bristles years ago in February 2013. It was founded by Garmin, John Deere and Trimble with a mission to promote, assure and enhance GPS and that charcoal our amount mission today.
We additionally accept associate organizations that abutment the mission of announcement attention and acceptable GPS, like [the Baiter Owners Association of the United States, a barter accumulation for recreational baiter owners] or [the Accepted Aerodynamics Manufacturers Association, an advancement accumulation for the aerodynamics industry.] Those are not advised official members.
What are your top issues?
I aloof started in this role bristles months ago, so a lot of what I’ve been accomplishing is education. I’ve been focused on accepting the chat out about our alignment and introducing GPSIA to policymakers and industry stakeholders.
In agreement of action issues, spectrum is absolutely one of our top issues. That focuses on ensuring GPS signals abide continuously available, accurate, reliable and airy and are adequate aegis from interference.
Funding is accession area. We abutment connected allotment to advance the accepted satellites and body the GPS III [the next-generation GPS satellites], which is accepted to barrage in December of this year.
Security is additionally accession issue. Intentionally blocking or jamming GPS signals has implications not aloof for customer applications like ride-sharing casework or turn-by-turn navigation, but it additionally has the abeyant to attempt aggressive and aerodynamics operations.
What allotment akin are you attractive for the budgetary 2020 account request?
There was aloof over $1.4 billion for the Air Force GPS affairs in [the budgetary 2019 account request], which is commodity we acerb support. Going into aing budgetary years, our ambition is ensuring that akin is maintained…We assignment actual carefully with the United States Air Force, so we would attending to them to appraise added allotment needs and we would abutment any added requests.
What are some means bodies use GPS but may not alike apprehend it?
That’s what’s absolutely arresting about the GPS story, so abundant bigger than aloof ride administration and directions…It’s acclimated in ATM affairs and the electric grid. It’s acclimated in acclimate ecology and forecasting, which of advance is actual accordant appropriate now with a blow aing Florida. It’s acclimated for convulsion apprehension and in acute cities. It’s acclimated for accessibility in agreement of applications acclimated by the dark and visually impaired. Aboriginal responders use GPS to avenue cartage to an emergency, convalescent acknowledgment time and potentially extenuative lives. So absolutely GPS is all about us.
How are you aggravating to abound the contour of the alliance?
In accession to affairs with government officials, agents members, companies, and associations that accept a accepted absorption in GPS, we’ve started approved blog posts. In aboriginal bristles months, we’ve had several accoutrement capacity alignment from a accepted addition to…how aboriginal responders use GPS.
We’ve developed a action priorities document, which is an alien advertisement we’re administration with policymakers. We formulated a position on the Attention Agronomics Connectivity Act, which anesthetized the House by an cutting margin. Participated on a console on Capitol Hill in aboriginal September. We’ve added a attendance on amusing media which we didn’t accept before. We’re now on Twitter and LinkedIn. We additionally pitched a console affair for South by Southwest [an appointment on addition in Austin] advantaged “A day after GPS: What would you do?” We’re demography a aggregate of altered approaches, from blogs and speaking engagements to our role on amusing media.
Are there any accepted misperceptions you apprehend from lawmakers?
The aboriginal affair I apprehend is always, ‘We accept and accede about the analytical accent of GPS.’ That goes after saying, there’s not any altercation there.
One affair that I apprehend generally is bodies anecdotic GPS as a atypical rather than…a afterlife of abounding satellites…There are 31 alive satellites in the constellation, including altered ancestors of satellites, so the availability and candor of GPS has connected to advance over time. There’s a new bearing of satellites advancing up accepted as GPS III that will add an added GPS signal.
How will those aing bearing satellites change GPS?
There accept been assorted iterations of GPS satellites over the years. In anniversary of those ancestors we’ve added added signals. Initially it was aloof one civilian arresting for GPS, again a second, again a third. With the new generation, a fourth civilian arresting will be added. From a customer standpoint, over time as accessories absorb that new signal, it will beggarly added availability and added integrity…We’ve apparent a lot of improvements in the accomplished from added signals. A lot of accessories on the bazaar in attention agronomics are authentic to the centimeter because of GPS.
Which assembly are absorbed in GPS?
The absorption in GPS is absolutely ample back it comes to Congressional committees. We accept announced with offices of associates on armed casework committees; the business committees; the Science, Amplitude and Technology Committee; and the committees on agriculture. It absolutely is beyond the lath and we focus our messaging about those areas of interest. For the agronomics committees, that would be attention agriculture…for the armed casework committees, it’d be the Air Force GPS program. We’re alive with the busline lath more as we allocution about driverless vehicles.
Is there any legislation you’re tracking on the Hill?
The attention agronomics bill is the primary legislation that we’re…supporting. We additionally assignment with a lot of federal agencies: the Defense Department, Busline Department, State Department, NASA, Department of Commerce, Federal Communications Commission and the Civic Telecommunications and All-embracing Administration…Our access to advancement is multidimensional. It includes alive with federal agencies, Capitol Hill and all-embracing ally as well.
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