The inevitable is coming. Either cheap GPS signal jamming technology or hypersonic missiles destroying a mesh network of GPS satellites will threaten drones on the modern battlefield when the next conflict breaks out.
That’s why Israeli startup Sightec developed the first-ever artificial intelligence-powered drone that can navigate without GPS connectivity. The drone uses “its own judgment powered by computer vision and smart tech, to reach its destination and avoid crashes without human assistance,” said Mashable.
The drones are embedded with special software called NaviSight, which transforms cameras embedded on the device into sensors that in real-time uses artificial intelligence to navigate like a human pilot, without depending on GPS.
A recent test was conducted in Southern Israel using a drone with the startup’s NaviSight technology. The drone successfully operated five routes.
“Drones which can find their own way won’t have to depend on GPS which is vulnerable to cyber attacks, and the innovation also protects people from drones crashing into building when they lose connectivity to navigation systems. The autonomous ops are being pitched as a provision for emergency situations, and the drones also deploy 3D mapping to help the software sidestep obstacles,” Mashable added.
This technology will come in very handy during the next global conflict between the US and China or the US and Russia. Either side will attempt to paralyze their opponent’s GPS satellites in low Earth orbit, which would create widespread chaos on the modern battlefield.
There is another threat to GPS-dependent devices, that is, the strongest solar cycle on record is imminent.