Inventions Utilizing Satellite Navigation Systems in the Railway Industry – An Analysis of Patenting Activity

Pekka Salmi, Marko T. Torkkeli


Applications based on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), in combination with different communication systems, have significantly helped to increase safety, efficiency and system capacity of operations in different modes of transportation. Here railway transport is no exception, although the number of applications based on GNSS has been considerably behind the number of those used in road transport. Since incorporating e.g. GPS receivers into modern signaling, train control and other railway systems has become usual, it is interesting to examine GNSS/GPS-based inventions and patenting trends more closely in this context. This paper analyses GNSS/GPS-related patents in the railway industry in order to shed light on the patenting activity in different countries/regions and to identify (and to a certain extent make a classification of) the main application areas for this technology.


Railways; transport; satellite navigation; GNSS; GPS; inventions; patents; signaling; train control.

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