Automakers, stakeholders urge focus on Safety Spectrum

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Automakers and intelligent transportation organizations urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to focus on safety first when considering changing the rules of the 5.9 GHz Safety Spectrum band in comments filed in Washington late last week.

“Decisions over sharing the Safety Spectrum should be driven first and foremost by public safety,” said Global Automakers President and CEO John Bozzella.  “Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology, which is ready today, has the potential to prevent over 1,000 deaths a year. The future of this significant lifesaving technology lies in the hands of the FCC.”

The 5.9 GHz Safety Spectrum was allocated by the FCC in 1999 for the purpose of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) designed to bring tremendous safety benefits for consumers.  The FCC is considering a proposal to reconfigure the 5.9 GHz band that would sweep away decades of research and development and delay lifesaving benefits.

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“V2V communications will help move us from crash survival to crash avoidance – the future of improved highway safety,” said Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers President and CEO Mitch Bainwol. “Despite the greater number of vehicles on our roads and the increase in miles driven, if we make the right policy choices, safety outcomes can be strengthened and fewer families will suffer needless loss.  That’s why spectrum is so important and why a ‘do no harm’ approach to 5.9 is absolutely imperative.”

V2V communication technology using Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) operates within the 5.9 GHz Safety Spectrum to help avoid crashes and reduce fatalities.  This connected car technology has been extensively tested by the U.S. Department of Transportation, automakers, and experts in advanced automotive systems.

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“Connected vehicle technology and other intelligent transportation systems are transforming safety and mobility on our nation’s roadways,” said Regina Hopper, President and CEO of ITS America. “Time-critical communications of these safety systems must be able to operate without delay, and the FCC’s exploration of spectrum sharing must take that into account.”

V2V communication technology is also an important building block toward automated vehicles.  The auto industry supports the efficient use of spectrum and rigorous testing to determine whether the 5.9 GHz band can be safely shared with other unlicensed users.

The Association of Global Automakers represents international motor vehicle manufacturers, original equipment suppliers, and other automotive-related trade associations. We work with industry leaders, legislators, and regulators to create the kind of public policy that improves vehicle safety, encourages technological innovation, and protects our planet. Our goal is to foster a competitive environment in which more vehicles are designed and built to enhance Americans’ quality of life. For more information, visit

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