China's sat-nav system to have civilian uses
Beijing: China's Beidou satellite-navigation system, which has proven its use in defence and national safety plans, may be used for civilian purposes like typhoon monitoring, traffic management and agriculture.
Other applications could include a role in driving tests, landslide monitoring, and surveying and mapping, scientists and industry figures said at a seminar.
Experts said promoting Beidou's civilian uses can help bring its price down and break the market domination of overseas companies.
They said combining the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and Beidou yields better results than only one system, as their respective satellite network coverage have their own strengths and weaknesses.
"A new driver exam system based on Beidou and GPS can be accurate to the millimetre and is used in 17 provinces," said Wang Chang, manager of Shanghai Compass Navigation Co, one of the developers.
Previously, judging car parking and other manoeuvres depended on sensors, which can be influenced by weather and electromagnetic interference.
China started building its own sat-nav system in 2000. Beidou currently has 14 satellites in its network.