Members of a U.S. House of Representatives’ transportation committee pressed the Biden administration to light a fire under connected-car efforts in order to prevent accidents.
The Democratic chairman and the top GOP representative on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee pressed Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to proactively help carmakers mobilize the technology, Reuters reported.
The letter to Buttigieg from Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio and incoming committee chairman Sam Graves implored the presidential adviser to facilitate deployment of vehicle-to-everything, or V2X, technologies to leverage cellular transmissions for crash prevention. The entreaty comes as U.S. traffic deaths are soaring.
DeFazio and Graves took the opportunity to criticize the Federal Communications Commission’s 2020 reallocation of a spectrum block reserved for automobile safety to support a surge in the number of wireless devices. The 5.9 GHz band spectrum block was reserved in 1999 for carmakers to develop intervehicle communication technology meant to prevent crashes but has been largely unused for that purpose, and the FCC reallocated 60% of it.
“Transportation stakeholders have highlighted the current challenges to V2X deployment, including regulatory uncertainty and a failure to quickly approve waivers for Cellular vehicle-to-everything," the letter said in part. "Given the regulatory uncertainty caused by the FCC’s recent actions in the (connected vehicle) space, the (Transportation) Department must play a strong leadership role to support the deployment of V2X technologies."
Government studies have concluded that the technology could prevent at least 600,000 U.S. crashes a year if widely adopted among vehicles, Reuters said.