In a foretaste of the EU's ambitious Galileo programme, the European Space Agency has developed the SisNet receiver which allows drivers to find their exact position through satellite navigation and the internet.

The hand-held device uses signals from the American GPS project amplified by the European geostationary navigation service EGNOS and is accurate to within one or two metres compared to 15 to 20 metres for regular GPS signals. Commercial applications are being developed with the automobile industry.

By Alan Osborn