Apple on a mission to upgrade navigation technology in new GPS firm purchase
After the acquisition of Hop stop an online city transit guide offering door-to-door subway and bus directions and maps for over 140 cities around the world, the mobile manufacturer has purchased Coherent Navigation, a Bay area global positioning company that offers satellite navigation hardware, software which includes precise, secure, robust positioning, timing, and communication solutions.
Founded in 2008, Coherent Navigation was a small firm that focused on creating commercial navigation services based on partnerships with companies like Boeing and Iridium, the satellite network operator.
Coherent Navigation worked on high-precision navigation systems, technology that is far stronger than many consumer-grade global positioning systems, which are typically accurate to within three to five meters. In the past, Coherent Navigation has also worked on autonomous navigation and robotics projects, according to previous company job listings, as well as projects for the Defense Department.
Coherent Navigation is one of the multiple companies purchased by the company in the location technology industry since 2009. Apple first made impression in the interest of location technology in 2009 after the purchase of Placebase, a small mapping service in 2009 after which the company saw the acquisition of Locationary and Hopstop.
In the year 2012, Apple replaced its old mapping application based on Google maps with its own in-house technology as well as some licensed from TomTom, a dutch digital mapping company. Apple has since then improved the application’s accurate and intuitive turn-by-turn navigation features and interactive 3D views. The higher-accuracy GPS data provided by Coherent’s technology could potentially aid the navigation feature on Apple Maps, especially in areas with a higher road destiny routes.
However, it is not clear how exactly the company will incorporate coherent’s technology with speculations that the company might use it in the automotive space with rumours of an Apple branded electric car to be released in 2020.