The Karnataka High Court has directed authorities to install GPS tracking systems on ambulances in the state, allowing them to travel undisturbed in traffic.

The High Court Chamber, headed by Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale, gave the direction after hearing a petition from the Bharat Punaruttana Trust. The High Court then adjourned the hearing for three weeks. All ambulances in Karnataka must have GPS tracking systems enabled and they should be regularly monitored, the court said.

The government is instructed in this regard to give necessary notices to ambulance owners and manufacturers so that government and private ambulances are GPS enabled.

The court also directed the establishment of a control room to manage ambulances. The control room should be able to control traffic on the road while the ambulance is moving. The court said the tender process should begin as soon as possible.

The court also asked for a report on the enforcement of a notice issued earlier by the Police Commissioner regarding the uninterrupted movement of ambulances during the movement of VIPs.

Back in September, ANI reported that the central government said it had held meetings with mobile manufacturers to discuss the compatibility of the domestic GPS NavIC in smartphones, but there was no firm timeline for implementation. NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) is the name of India's independent independent navigation satellite system.

The government's clarification comes after media reports said the government was seeking to authorise its homegrown navigation system “within a few months”.

At present, there are four systems in the , GPS in the United States, GLONASS in Russia, Galileo in the European , and Beidou in China. In addition, there are two regional systems, NavIC in India and QZSS in Japan.

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By Rebecca French

Rebecca French writes books about Technology and smartwatches. Her books have received starred reviews in Technology Shout, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller...