The UIC says that while satellite positioning has become the standard navigation tool for the aviation and marine industries, it has not gained a foothold in automatic train control due to unreliable positioning of existing Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and the lack of comprehensive information and an operating guarantee.

Satloc aims to develop the concept to demonstrate the suitability of GNSS for train control and to develop advanced operation on low traffic lines which the UIC says encompass around 40% of Europe's rail network. Satloc is being carried out by a consortium of 11 partners from six European countries representing railways, universities, the supply industry, and infrastructure managers. The project will last for 28 months.