While most of us were inhaling fruit cake, those wacky Russians decided to launch three Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) mapping satellites into space on Tuesday. This launch is a big milestone in the implementation of the GLONASS, which has been in the works since the mid 1970s. But how will this affect vehicular navigation?

Well, it won't — at least it shouldn't. It's already been stated that GLONASS and GPS can complement each other. GLONASS was originally designed for the armed forces, but even if GLONASS makes it globally as a consumer product, it would be quite the stretch to get GPS manufacturers like GARMIN or TomTom to essentially reinvent the wheel and confuse the hell out of consumers. By the end of 2009 or 2010, people should be familiar with GPS systems, and introducing another standard to the very-functional current system would just be ridiculous for GPS manufacturers or automakers to implement this standard. But, you never know what the zany guys at GAZ might do, right? [Reuters]