The role of GNSS in driverless cars

Extensive visual map databases are being created that, when coupled with cameras, radars and lidars on the vehicle and processed by artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, enable the driverless car to be steered much the way humans drive. Pattern recognition processing in the vehicle allows it to “read” street signs and recognize landmarks, registering its position on the map.

This is the way a person drives in his or her home town, where they always know their orientation and don’t need GNSS. The AI processing “brain,” with access to huge map databases, either through local storage or a network connection, will always be in its familiar home environment: continuously knowing its own position and properly oriented for navigation.

So, will GNSS become unnecessary in the car of the future? Probably not.