GPS technology is far from new, yet it continues to grow in use and importance. The world is becoming more connected, and GPS services play a crucial role in that transition. As familiar as it may be, the way people use it is changing.
In 2021, GPS tech will expand and shift to meet the needs of today’s world. Here are some specific instances of these changes.
1. Expansion of Location-Based Services
Amid the pandemic, more businesses started taking advantage of the GPS functions of consumers’ smartphones. This location data has helped companies streamline and optimize things like curbside pickup, delivery and other socially distant services. Now that these offerings have become central to business, they won’t likely fade next year.
Medical and government authorities will likely embrace location-based services in 2021, too. Experts expect these trends to drive the market to $183.81 billion by 2027, compared to just $28.95 billion in 2019.
2. Smart Route Planning for Fleets
Company fleets have been some of the biggest adopters of GPS tech for years. That will continue into 2021 but go a step further as they embrace smart route planning. Logistics companies will increasingly combine GPS data with AI to improve their routes.
New GPS systems go beyond location data and consider things like traffic, weather, road closings and more. These in-depth GPS solutions can produce more than 10 billion mileage configurations, helping drivers find optimal routes for any purpose. Simple GPS systems that just show directions will become obsolete in 2021.
3. Smart City Integration
Global spending on smart city initiates reached $124 billion in 2020. Cities will feature more connected infrastructure, and many of these projects will implement GPS technology. By integrating this tech into smart city infrastructure, towns will become safer and more efficient.
GPS data from different parts of the city will communicate traffic patterns and changes to drivers. The same systems will help emergency responders navigate more efficiently, possibly even redirecting other traffic to give them a faster route. While this level of smart city implementation won’t appear at scale for several years, it’ll become more common in 2021.
4. Social Distancing Through Geofencing
Although vaccines are starting to roll out, people will still have to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines for some time. Even in a best-case scenario, the pandemic will likely last through 2021, though it will lessen. As a result, many areas will probably use GPS technology to promote social distancing.
Many companies have given their employees wearables that enforce social distancing through geofencing, beeping when someone gets too close. In 2021, this could happen at a larger scale, using GPS data to geofence popular areas and track movement. These readings could help authorities monitor the efficacy of guidelines or see areas that need addressing.
5. Mobile Network Integration
Another trend in GPS technology that will rise in 2021 is integration with mobile networks. 5G rollout slowed in 2020 due to COVID-19, but it will expand in 2021, becoming more available and reliable. As that happens, GPS and mobile network interconnectivity will be more viable and useful.
Car GPS trackers will use these networks to alert emergency services in the event of an accident. Similarly, smart city infrastructure will use them to communicate GPS traffic data to incoming vehicles. The combination of these two technologies will help both reach their full potential.
GPS Tech Is More Important in 2021 Than Ever
GPS technology has been around far longer than many other of today’s most noteworthy tech. However, it’s far from obsolete and is perhaps on the verge of its golden age. In 2021, GPS services will combine with other technologies to make the world a safer, more efficient place.