Connected Vehicle Spectrum at Issue in Rulemaking

Connected Vehicle Spectrum at Issue in Rulemaking

This piece was originally published in the May/June 2020 issue of electroindustry.

by Alex Boesenberg, Senior Manager of Regulatory Affairs, NEMA

The NEMA Transportation Management Section recommends that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) preserve the entire 5.9 GHz band of the radiocommunications spectrum for roadway safety applications. Arguing that progress has been too slow in deploying intelligent transportation systems that use the spectrum, the commission approved a proposal in December 2019 to reallocate portions of the band to unlicensed use and reduce the amount of spectrum available for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to- infrastructure (V2I) communications.

In March 2020 comments responding to the proposal, NEMA welcomed the Commission’s proposal to open use of the spectrum to competing V2V/V2I technologies but opposed reallocation of 45 MHz away from applications that hold the promise of improving roadway safety and reducing vehicle incidents that result in tens of thousands of deaths and injuries each year.

“NEMA Members are already developing roadway safety applications for advanced use of the 45 MHz,” wrote Phil Squair, Vice President, NEMA Government Relations.

Recognizing that multiple communication technologies coexist  in the marketplace and Section Members are involved in deployments thereof, the Section updated the FCC on an upcoming NEMA Standard, NEMA TS 10, to enable transportation infrastructure owners and operators to have confidence in specifying and procuring roadside infrastructure equipment as technology evolves and advances. The Section also recommended that the FCC revisit the allocation of the 5.9 GHz band in seven years if the transportation industry has not taken full advantage of it to deploy connected vehicle (CV) technologies and improve roadway safety.

The Section intends to submit supplementary comments to the Commission by the end of April on standardization of cellular vehicle to everything technology, deployment of roadside units for V2I capabilities, and testing interference between Wi-Fi and CV signals. ei

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