Japan has started its own version of a global positioning system. The new system uses 4 Michibiki satellites in orbit around the earth. The final one was launched in October of last year. They complement American GPS satellites. At least one of the satellites is always above Japan.
Signals from that satellite come from an angle that tends to prevent tall buildings getting in the way. Smartphones and car-navigation systems that can receive those signals will be able to show their positions more accurately and stably.
The satellites also emit a special tracking signal that can reduce the margin of error from about 10 meters to several centimeters.
That function is expected to find a use in self-driving vehicles and fully automated agriculture machinery, such as tractors and rice-harvesting machines.
It will also likely be used for delivery services involving drones, and other new services.
Electronics firms are hoping for increased demand for Michibiki signal receivers. Cell phone makers plan to put more models that can use the new system in their product lineups.