Zhao Long, who works at a railroad signal workshop, used to worry a great deal about the safety of maintenance personnel during the annual Spring Festival holiday, as increased passenger and train traffic due to travel rush leave less time for maintenance. Thanks to the introduction of a personnel protection system supported by the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) ahead of the Spring Festival this year, Zhao’s concerns have been put to rest. China’s homegrown BDS is being integrated into an increasing number of application scenarios such as positioning, navigation, and international search and rescue. “The new system allows operators to obtain precise real-time positions of the maintenance personnel along the railways, as they hold terminal devices. Operators at the workshop can guide the on-site maintenance staff through video or voice commands. If they walk out of the secure area, the terminal triggers an alarm,” explained Zhao, who has been working at the signal workshop in southwest China’s Guizhou Province for a decade. “The new system can better protect the safety of workers.” The new system integrates high-precision positioning technology, electronic fence technology based on GIS, train navigation terminal, Internet of Things and other high-tech features, providing protection for train stations, locomotives and workers, said Yi Pei, a sales manager of BeiDou’s business division at Hi-Target International Group Limited.To date, the new system has been installed at over 600 train stations and covers over 10,000 km of railway lines. More than 15,000 terminals are in use, Yi added. BeiDou navigation technology has also been used in the agriculture sector. In Botou City, north China’s Hebei Province, large corn harvesters have been equipped with autopilots to realize complete automatic harvesting.”There are more than 200 sets of intelligent agricultural machinery in the city, including drones, sprayers, seeders, tractors and harvesters, all of which are equipped with BeiDou navigation system,” said Li Tielian, director of the city’s agricultural and rural affairs bureau. BeiDou’s positioning technology has assisted the traffic police in obtaining evidence, dispatching emergency personnel or undertaking rescue operations, and conducting data analysis.The deep integration of BeiDou and big data, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence has been widely used in the fields of transportation, energy, agriculture, communications, meteorology, natural resources, ecological environment, emergency response and disaster relief.According to the white paper “China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System in the New Era” released in November 2022, the BDS has entered the fast lane of large-scale application.In 2021, the overall output value of China’s satellite navigation and positioning service industry reached about 470 billion yuan (about 69.24 billion U.S. dollars), the white paper said.