Govt raises the bar for GPS suppliers

Suppliers of vehicle navigation systems will have to meet more stringent standards to boost the accuracy of their devices, the transport minister says.

Chadchat Sittipunt said he has asked the Department of Land Transport to set up a committee to work out improved standards for the global positioning systems (GPS).

Such instruments have become popular but lack accuracy and have been known to cause motorists to lose their way, he said.

The navigation systems have also compounded traffic congestion, especially in Bangkok and surrounding areas, he added.

"At present, operators have the freedom to produce GPS navigation devices for sale, but no state agency controls the business or guarantees the quality of the data," Mr Chadchat said.

He said some of the route data, provided by surveying companies who produce electronic maps, is outdated.

"The Ministry of Transport must regulate [GPS products] and protect the rights of the consumers who buy such products," he said.

The Department of Land Transport will develop new standards and check the current systems on the market to find any flaws. The minister also wants the Department of Highways and the Department of Rural Roads to help the committee by providing up-to-date information on roads.

Mr Chadchat said the GPS navigation products are under the control of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.

He said the Department of Land Transport will also find a way to get involved in the process.

The transport minister also plans to integrate the government's closed circuit television (CCTV) network so government agencies can share transport and traffic information and give traffic information to motorists.

Mr Chadchat said an integrated CCTV system would reduce traffic violations and bribery of police by motorists who violate traffic rules.

He suggested fines collected from traffic violations be spent on paying for the expansion and integration of the CCTV network.

About the author

Writer: Amornrat Mahitthirook
Position: Reporter