The leaders of all 50 state departments of transportation, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico this week called upon the Federal Communications Commission to “continue our nation’s commitment to improving transportation safety” by reserving the 5.9 GHz wireless spectrum for transportation use, reports AASHTO.
In a show of national unity on the important issue of transportation safety, the chief executive of every member of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials signed a letter addressed to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (below) and filed in the FCC docket.
The letter states, “The top priority for the state DOTs and AASHTO has been—and will always remain—the safety of all transportation system users. The loss of 36,750 lives last year on our nation’s highways and streets demands that we act boldly. To this end, connected vehicles (CV) utilizing Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communication in the 5.9 GHz spectrum will save lives by creating a seamless, cooperative environment that significantly improves the safety of our transportation system.”
The DOT leaders acknowledged that automakers and device manufacturers will dictate availability of vehicular equipment. However, transportation agencies will control the deployment and operation of roadside infrastructure and the incorporation of CV technologies into infrastructure applications. This collaboration between the public and private sectors has already invested hundreds of millions of dollars to develop and deploy lifesaving CV technologies in the 5.9 GHz spectrum. “State DOTs understand that a CV environment holds the potential to support a fundamental advancement in ensuring the safety of our nation’s surface transportation system. And in order for this promising future to become a reality, the 5.9 GHz spectrum must be preserved for transportation safety purposes.”