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Dec 2020

Nov 23 (Autonomous Vehicle Engineering) - FCC) Position regarding release of part of Safety Spectrum

After years of the transportation-industry competing technologies, on November 18, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided to enable communications between vehicles and a "connected" environment when they ruled they will allow a portion of the 5.9-GHz "Safety Spectrum" long reserved for the transportation sector, to be allocated to unlicensed private usage such as Wi-Fi internet connectivity. This ruling effectively eliminates the future for Wi-Fi-based Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) and locks in the advancing alternative, cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X).

A key piece of the issue over the Safety Spectrum was that automakers and other transportation interests did little to demonstrate the safety benefits of DSRC and the necessity for the Safety Spectrum entire bandwidth. The director and senior principal researcher at Toyota InfoTech Labs said at SAE International’s Government/Industry Meeting, "If the FCC proceeds with its plan and the bandwidth is used for non-automotive services, interference from Wi-Fi could render the V2X spectrum useless."