The Japanese government is eyeing 2020 to begin promoting exports of a GPS technology accurate to a several centimeters. This should help services that need pinpoint accuracy clamoring for the system.
An H-IIA rocket carrying the Michibiki No. 3 quasi-zenith satellite blasted off from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan.
Japan's improved GPS is expected to prompt the development of a range of services in sectors from autonomous driving to cargo management.
The planned launch of Michibiki No. 4 in October, if successful, will complete a four-satellite constellation. That is enough for one of the satellites to be above much of Asia, including Japan, at all times. Services in the region that adopt the system will be able to rely on the constellation 24 hours a day.