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Industry groups welcome USDOT’s action on connected car technology

A coalition of auto makers, highway safety advocates, and intelligent transportation organizations has welcomed the release of the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to establish an interoperable platform for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications in new vehicles to provide safety and mobility benefits.

The Association of Global Automakers says the automotive industry and the US government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in research, development and testing of connected vehicle technology, which can enhance the safety and performance of automated and non-automated vehicles. The NPRM and forthcoming final rule will help provide the transportation industry, including auto makers, aftermarket suppliers and road operators, with the standardization and certainty they need to quickly deploy the revolutionary technology, which has been tested, or is undergoing testing, in deployments throughout the country.

V2V communication technology uses dedicated short range communications (DSRC) that operate within the 5.9GHz waveband to help avoid crashes and reduce fatalities. The 5.9GHz ‘Safety Spectrum’ was dedicated by the federal government to the life-saving technology to ensure that V2V and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications are protected from harmful interference, as it is the only fully tested and deployable communications technology that can accomplish this goal.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently evaluating the potential for sharing the Safety Spectrum. Global Automakers, the National Safety Council, AAA, and ITS America, have joined together to create the Safety Spectrum Coalition to support V2V deployment and make sure that public safety drives the government decisions on spectrum sharing.

John Bozzella (above), president and CEO of the Association of Global Automakers, said, “Today's release of the V2V NPRM is a critical step to enabling connected car technologies that promise to improve highway safety and deliver significant lifesaving benefits.”

Regina Hopper (below), president and CEO of the ITS America, commented, “This is an important step forward toward ensuring the full potential of V2V to dramatically reduce roadway fatalities and transform mobility in our nation. This USDOT standard will ensure that we quickly achieve a critical mass of vehicles on the road that can communicate with each other and with the infrastructure.”

Deborah Hersman (below), president and CEO of the National Safety Council, noted, “Today, we have millions of drivers behind the wheel, spend millions of dollars on education and enforcement campaigns, and recognize billions in economic losses as a result of crashes. Operating a motor vehicle remains one of the deadliest things we do on a daily basis in spite of safer vehicle designs and record-setting seat belt use rates across the nation. V2V has the potential to prevent thousands of highway crashes, and action by NHTSA will pave the way toward greater implementation of DSRC technology.”

Marshall Doney, AAA president and CEO, added, “Given that traffic fatalities increased by 7.7% in 2015, and continued trending upward over the first half of 2016, the importance of applying innovative technologies to improve safety cannot be overstated. We need tested technologies, like DSRC V2V communications, to help reverse this troubling trend.”

December 16, 2016

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