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Connected Cars and Accident Prevention

global automakers

WASHINGTON--June 20, 2014: The Association of Global Automakers (Global Automakers) is concerned that legislation introduced today by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) to open the 5.9GHz band to unlicensed users is putting at risk the opportunity to save thousands of lives through the deployment of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications. The legislation seeks to rush a decision on opening and rechannelization of the spectrum dedicated to this revolutionary automotive technology.

"The lifesaving benefits of V2V communications are within reach," said John Bozzella, president and CEO of Global Automakers. "Given what's at stake, an ill-informed decision on this spectrum is a gamble."

To improve highway safety, the Federal Communications Commission allocated use of the 5.9 GHz spectrum to the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) "Intelligent Transportation Systems" (ITS). This spectrum is essential for V2V communications, a technology that signals the driver before a crash in order to reduce its impact or avoid it completely.

"We appreciate the Senators' willingness to work with us to address our concerns with the bill," said Bozzella. "It is critical that we continue to collaborate on ways to engineer, examine, and evaluate proposed spectrum sharing strategies to ensure that harmful, potentially life-threatening, interference does not occur."

DOT is working with automakers and other stakeholders to develop and field test V2V technology that is now quickly moving toward deployment. Today, thousands of vehicles equipped with V2V communications capabilities are being tested on public roads. DOT has stated that its deployment could potentially address 80 percent of vehicle crashes involving non-impaired drivers. This estimates to almost 4.5 million crashes a year – or roughly 12,000 crashes a day - that could be avoided.