A new $8 billion upgrade plan will mean that GPS location accuracy is soon to be improved to within a metre.

The current fleet of 24 GPS satellites will soon be replaced, with 18 new satellites currently being built by Boeing's Space and Intelligence Systems.

Spare satellites

Another 12 satellites are being manufactured by Lockheed Martin, allowing for six satellites to be kept as spares for use if and when necessary.

The first new GPS satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral this weekend. The Los Angeles Times reports how "the new system is designed to pinpoint someone's location within an arm's length".

Marco Caceres, senior space analyst for aerospace research firm Teal Group told the Los Angeles Times: "This new system has the potential to deliver capabilities we haven't seen yet.

"Because GPS touches so many industries, it's hard to imagine what industry wouldn't be affected."

The upgrade to the GPS satellites is three years behind schedule.

Via PC Pro