Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 24

STILL FIGHTING
S
Advocates wage a last-ditch effort to save a portion
of spectrum that had been reserved for safety messages
BY PETE BIGELOW
afety advocates are clinging to
hopes they can save a slice of
radio frequency spectrum that
might hold the potential to save
the lives of thousands of motorists.
In the latest chapter in a contentious
dispute - and likely a last-ditch effort -
two prominent transportation safety organizations
filed a lawsuit in June that asks
a federal judge to overturn portions of a
Federal
Communications
order that shrunk the portion of the spectrum
allocated for what's become known
as V2X, or " vehicle to everything, " automotive
communications.
Further,
method
for
these
Commission
the order scuttled an older
transmitting
critical
safety messages called Dedicated Short
Range Communications (DSRC) that
had been under development
In some fashion, the move could boost
for more
than two decades - in favor of a cellular
method that requires further testing.
In the lawsuit, the Intelligent
Transportation Society of America and the
American Association of State Highway
and Transportation Officials say the FCC
overstepped its authority when it allocated
the portion of the 5.9-gigahertz spectrum
that had been reserved for the auto industry
to other businesses.
Further, they say the decision " undercuts "
the potential lifesaving benefits,
which involve the rapid transmission of
hazard warnings, obstacle detections or
updates on road conditions.
In stripping away 45 of the 75 megahertz
that had been set aside since 1999
for V2X messages, the FCC argued the
auto industry had done little to deliver that
lifesaving potential over 20 years, and that
the spectrum was needed to help fill an
insatiable demand for wireless broadband
growing at " a phenomenal pace. "
24 shift * august 2021
the build-out of 5G networks across the
country. Indeed, the FCC reserved the
remaining 30 MHz of the spectrum for cellular
use only - ending R&D and limited
deployments of DSRC.
The move effectively ended years of
competition between the two V2X methods
of communication as well as industry
indecisiveness regarding them. Some
automakers, Ford Motor Co. for example,
have backed the cellular approach, with
hopes that fledgling 5G technology could
soon speed up the delivery of messages
between
vehicles,
infrastructure
and
pedestrians.
That's already happening in some places.
The 5G Automotive Association, an industry
trade group that advocates for cellular
progress in next-generation transportation
networks, says 5G-enabled vehicles are
already commercialized in China, and that
efforts in Europe to deploy cellular V2X in
advanced safety cases in widespread fashion
could reach fruition by 2024.
But in the U.S., with the automotive
portion of the spectrum reduced, the
5G Automotive Association noted it was
" concerned about the potential for harmful
interference from Wi-Fi devices allowed
to use the power portion of the 5.9 GHz
band under the proposal. "
In an unusual quarrel between fedthe
Department of
eral departments,
Transportation opposed the FCC's order.
At the time of the decision, then-Transportation
Secretary Elaine Chao warned it
put efforts to save thousands of lives " in
peril " and said the FCC's move was " not
grounded in data or sound science. "
A DOT spokesperson did not return a
request for comment on whether the current
department supports the efforts of
ITS America and the American Association
of State Highway and Transportation
Officials to reverse the FCC order, which
was published in the federal register in
May. There's not yet a timetable for hearings
on the lawsuit.
Meanwhile, the future of a technology
that could cut the carnage on U.S. roads
remains in limbo. n
Transportation
officials believe
that connecting
cars, buses and
infrastructure
through
transmission
of safety
messages that
warn of hazards
or changing
road conditions
might someday
save thousands
of lives.

Shift Magazine - August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shift Magazine - August 2021

Contents
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - Intro
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - Cover1
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - Cover2
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - Contents
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 4
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 5
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 6
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 7
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 8
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 9
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 10
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 11
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 12
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 13
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 14
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 15
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 16
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 17
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 18
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 19
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 20
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 21
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 22
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 23
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 24
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 25
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 26
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - Cover3
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - Cover4
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