Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation is ubiquitous today. Almost every smartphone can access a map system (e.g. Google Maps) that uses it; almost every military vehicle (and many individual soldiers) have access to it through issue or personal devices; and many companies couldn't function without it. (For a start, imagine all the online commerce deliveries that could not be made in time if the drivers of the delivery vans had to rely on paper maps instead of GPS!)
Trouble is, GPS is also used by "the bad guys", whether nation-state enemies or guerrilla organizations. It's commonly used by terrorist unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's or "drones") to navigate to their targets. Individuals use it to avoid known security installations. Some enemies will deliberately jam it, to confuse navigation and other systems and cause accidents. Therefore, a new generation of inertial navigation systems is under development, to supplement and even replace GPS if necessary. They're complex and expensive at present, and largely restricted to military applications, but I'm sure they'll penetrate the civilian market in due course.
Strategy Page reports:
The new INS tech can now be used to more effectively monitor GPS and alert the operator that their GPS has either developed a problem or is being jammed ... Another urgent chore for INS is to more effectively deal with the growing use of GPS spoofing (misdirecting). This involves EW (electronic Warfare) equipment that can mislead rather than jam without alerting the victim that their navigation system might not be reliable ... That has led to smaller, cheaper and more accurate INS systems. Aside from airlines and commercial shipping, there is not much of a mass market for these new INS systems because for most users, GPS is reliable enough to keep the INS gear out of the more cost-sensitive markets. But the demand from the airlines, shipping companies and the military is huge. INS tech is becoming a popular feature for high-end smartphones and other consumer items, because some smartphone and smartwatch manufacturers seek to use INS to automatically fill in if the user temporarily loses the GPS signal.
. . .
Despite the secrecy about GPS disruption, since 2017 there has been growing evidence that Russia has been frequently jamming or spoofing GPS signals, mainly to hide the exact location equipment that allows GPS tracking. Developing equipment like this is easily within Russian capabilities. In early 2019 a report made the news revealing that there had recently been nearly 10,000 instances where someone, apparently Russia, had been jamming or spoofing satellite navigation signals. Not just the American GPS, but also signals from non-American satellite navigation systems (Chinese Beidou, EU’s Galileo, Japan’s QZAA and even the Russian GLONASS). Much of this activity was not outright jamming but the harder to detect spoofing.
. . .
GPS spoofing equipment has also found a market among criminal gangs. This was first encountered during 2018 in Shanghai, China where local gangsters were found to be using technology for spoofing GPS signals. Shanghai was just the beginning because this spoofing tech was subsequently encountered in twenty other Chinese coastal cities where gangsters ran profitable smuggling operations ... The Chinese government denied responsibility for this GPS spoofing and blamed it on smugglers who apparently use the spoofing device to avoid being caught by the police while a smuggler ship was carrying illegal cargo ... GPS spoofing declined during 2020 but China revealed no details about what happened ... One thing that was noted about the “Shanghai Spoofer” was that the spoofing often took place around oil terminals where ships smuggling oil for Iran or to North Korea often operated. The governments of Iran and North Korea also noticed this and could have received useful information on how the Shanghai spoofing gear worked.
There's more at the link.
This is likely to be widely useful to civilians, as well as military personnel. I've always believed in the time-honored concept of "belt and braces": in fact, I've often told people to take that further, and use belt, braces and a piece of string. I'm a firm believer in Murphy's Law: "If anything can go wrong, it will". For that reason, I'm enthusiastic about a technology that can back up - and, if necessary, take over from - GPS. Can you imagine the chaos on our roads if all the drivers who currently rely on GPS were suddenly "blacked out", and had to complete their journeys without it? I'm old-fashioned enough to keep a map book in my vehicle for use on long journeys, but how many people do that today? How many even bother to look up the route for a road trip? They just switch on their GPS navigation and follow its directions. They no longer know how to get where they're going. If you asked them to name the towns between their departure point and their destination, they might not know them at all, because they don't use navigational waypoints. They just drive, and let the talking box tell them where to go next.
I'm therefore grateful for the prospect of a better INS to back up GPS. If only I could be sure that the battery powering either or both devices wouldn't run flat . . .