ITE Journal - April 2020 - 38

I

n 1999, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set aside 75 megahertz
(MHz) of bandwidth in the 5.9-gigahertz (GHz) spectrum for dedicated short-range
communications services (DSRC). The spectrum was exclusively reserved for road safety
and its use enables vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication. V2X technologies rely

on communication between cars and the outside world-everything from roadside sensors to
pedestrian signals to electronic parking, and much more-even helping enhancing the safety
benefits of automated vehicles.
Use of the safety spectrum to enable V2X safety applications
has the potential to save lives and prevent serious injuries on our
nation's roads. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) showed that 36,750 people died in motor vehicle
crashes in 2018. The Department has consistently supported
preserving the safety spectrum for transportation safety communications. In fact, the NHTSA estimated that full adoption of only
two V2X safety applications would prevent about half a million
crashes and save about 1,000 lives a year.1, 2
However, in late 2019, the FCC proposed opening up the lower
45 MHz of the safety spectrum for unlicensed, non-safety uses,
potentially disrupting critical, high-speed V2X communications
that can prevent crashes and resulting injuries and fatalities.
In response to the FCC's announcement, there has been strong
opposition from transportation organizations including ITE,
AASHTO, ITS America, and state and local departments of transportation (DOTs) calling for the preservation of the safety spectrum
for exclusive transportation use. In a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit
Pai, USDOT Secretary Elaine Chao stated that the agency had
"significant concerns with the Commission's proposal, which
represents a major shift in the FCC's regulation of the 5.9 GHz Band
and jeopardizes the significant transportation safety benefits that
the allocation of this Band was meant to foster."3 Those concerns
were recently reiterated in a letter from 38 members of the House
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.4
The following is a look at current uses of the safety spectrum,
background on the FCC's proposal, and advocacy being carried out
by organizations such as ITE in support of preserving the spectrum.

carrying out critical safety proof-of-concept tests, and conducting
pilot deployments to gain knowledge in key issues critical to future
large-scale deployment. Several applications for the spectrum have
emerged, and there are examples throughout the country that point
to both successes and potential for further growth. (For more uses
of the spectrum, see sidebar on page 40.)
DSRC emerged as an early technology of choice to enable
V2X communications that industry dictated would be necessary
for safety-related applications. DSRC is a high-speed low-latency
communications medium that enables vehicles to exchange data
with other vehicles, infrastructure, and other devices to prevent
crashes, enhance mobility, and reduce vehicle emissions. Based on
the IEEE 802.11p standard (a variation of Wi-Fi), DSRC has been
designed for highly secure, high-speed wireless communication
between and among vehicles, as well as with the infrastructure.
More recently, a group of companies and organizations began also
exploring the use of cellular protocols for secure high-speed wireless
communication. From that effort, long term evolution (LTE), a
4th generation (4G) cellular network protocol, was identified as
a potential alternative to DSRC and is generally referred to as
cellular-vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X).
Many automakers indicated that they were adopting or planning
to adopt V2X communication technologies in newly manufactured
vehicles to enable such communication. However, comments by
the FCC in 2019 referring to the spectrum as "lying fallow" and a
"promise unfulfilled" stalled production, and many automakers
have since announced they would pause the roll-out of such
technology for the time being.5, 6, 7

Uses of the Spectrum

There are several uses of the spectrum throughout the United States.
According to the USDOT, "There are currently 123 planned or
operational connected vehicle deployment locations in the United
States, all of which use the Safety Band. More than 18,000 vehicles

Since the 5.9 GHz band was set aside for safety communications,
transportation experts on both the vehicle and infrastructure
side have collaborated on developing service rules for the band,
38

Apri l 2020

i te j o urn al

Current Deployments



ITE Journal - April 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ITE Journal - April 2020

ITE Journal - April 2020 - Cover1
ITE Journal - April 2020 - Cover2
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 3
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 4
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 5
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 6
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 7
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 8
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 9
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 10
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 11
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 12
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 13
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 14
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 15
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 16
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 17
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 18
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 19
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 20
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 21
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 22
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 23
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 24
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 25
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 26
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 27
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 28
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 29
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 30
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 31
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 32
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 33
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 34
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 35
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 36
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 37
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 38
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 39
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 40
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 41
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 42
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 43
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 44
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 45
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 46
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 47
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 48
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 49
ITE Journal - April 2020 - 50
ITE Journal - April 2020 - Cover3
ITE Journal - April 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_July2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_June2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_May2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_April2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_March2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_February2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_January2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_December2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G110939_ITE_November2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G110110_ITE_October2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G110109_ITE_September2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G108559_ITE_August2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G108250_ITE_July2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G107225_ITE_June2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G104039_ITE_May2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G104038_ITE_April2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G104036_ITE_March2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G103582_ITE_February2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G102868_ITE_January2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G100155_ITE_December2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G100154_ITE_November2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G99495_ITE_October2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G98028_ITE_September2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G97366_ITE_August2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G96287_ITE_July2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G94315_ITE_June2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G93877_ITE_May2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G93065_ITE_Apr2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G91484_ITE_Mar2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G89434_ITE_Feb2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G86608_ITE_Jan2018
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com