The other important thing to note here is how well this could perform in combination with the wide-area augmentation system (WAAS), which corrects for atmospheric variation of signal travel time by using information the is generated by ground stations and broadcast by the satellites. WAAS isn't included in standard cheap GPS receivers, but can be had for little money, starting from $100 GPS receivers (and mandatory for certain aviation applications, for example).
Or the 2cm figure already include the use of WAAS?
The few GNU/Linux users do it for idealistic reasons, or because they're developers, or because they like the latest OS on very old cheap hardware and don't mind to deal with whatever this entails.
The more interesting question is really if freedom exists when you never make use of it. (Do you actually hack the kernel or fix somebody's proprietary binary-only drivers as a GNU/Linux user?)
French interstates work quite well in that respect. Everyone does about 130kph (that's 81mph), and this speed limit is strictly enforced. Relaxed driving, really.
The other thing to take into account is driver training. The kind of tail-gating I'm seeing here in the states rarely happens in Germany. Yes, you get the angry BMW driver flashing his lights at you when you're in "his" lane (road rage is universal), but that's typically over in a few seconds. Drivers wisely keep their distance.
As for this paper, you seem to neglect that even the supposedly continuous, analog computer will have sub-processes that run in parallel, but are correlated and make a distinguishable contribution to the task the global system is concerned with. If you like to picture a network of neurons, then its structure with will one of many separate clusters (a "small world" network, for instance) rather than a random graph.
The question is, does this bring us closer to a computational understanding of how the overall processes work? Localization of function alone doesn't, IMHO. DTI (neuroscience) and cognitive modeling based on architectures (cognitive science) may make better progress.
A PhD really prepares you for a career in research/science, academia. You sound like you're looking to be a programmer (again). Did the reasons go away for which you chose to do a PhD?
Try the big players: Google, Apple, Intel, Microsoft, and so on. They hire PhDs quite happily, and you can apply what you've learned.
One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.