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Introducing GPS and its Applications in Transportation to Undergraduate Students

P.I.: Dr. Hui-Ru Shih
Department of technology
Jackson State University

Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based radio navigation system [1]. GPS, a
system initially created by and for the military, has found its way into many homes over the past few years. Beyond recreational activities such as boating and backpacking, GPS receivers are also becoming an important tool to industries such as agriculture, surveying, and especially transportation.
Transportation is the engine of economic growth. A nation needs to exploit technology in
every possible way to better manage the transportation system and improve its safety, security, and capacity. GPS is a technology that is – and will remain – absolutely vital to the transportation system across all modes [2,3]. For instance, in vehicles, GPS technology can help reduce the number of accidental lane crossovers on the highways, which can make tremendous progress in improving highway safety. The transit lines can use GPS to better track their bus services and to improve on-time performance. GPS technology also can facilitate the rapid response of emergency vehicles to the scene of accidents. Furthermore, GPS can improve landing capabilities at airports. This will ease the burden on the most congested hubs. It is evident that the applications of GPS technology can increase safety, reduce congestion, and improve efficiency. GPS has become the enabling technology for transportation.
Even though GPS is becoming more and more common, the basis of this technology is still
a mystery to most of the engineering/technology undergraduate students. However, using GPS to transform major parts of the transportation system will have long-term benefits to future economic growth. We all know that a safe, secure, and efficient transportation system is absolutely essential to keeping communities and the nation prosperous. Therefore, it is desirable to prepare future engineers and technologists for the cutting-edge technologies in GPS. It will be a challenge for this future generation of engineers and technologists to take advantage of GPS technology and to increase its potential.