On Dec. 26, the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) published a Federal Register notice seeking public comments on Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communications. In its notice, US DOT noted that V2X technologies “have the potential for significant transportation safety and mobility benefits, both on their own and as complementary technologies when combined with in-vehicle sensors supporting the integration of automated vehicles and other innovative applications.”
The Department’s request for comments on V2X communications comes on the heels of other recent requests for comments on related advanced technologies – automated driving systems and automated vehicles.
Comments are due 30 days after official publication in the Federal Register, which falls on Jan. 25. MEMA will review the notice and consult with members on responding with comments.
Vehicle suppliers are key innovators of advanced vehicle safety systems and technologies. As such, MEMA has long supported initiatives and policies that support innovation and product development. These V2X technologies are part of a range of systems and technologies that can prevent or mitigate vehicle crashes.
A recent related statement from NHTSA addresses the value of preserving the 5.9 GHz radio spectrum, which enables V2V and V2X communications (e.g. basic safety messages). Also dubbed the “Safety Spectrum” by the vehicle industry, this bandwidth is currently reserved for intelligent transportation systems communications, including vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and other related communications. The band is under the control of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is currently evaluating “sharing” and possible rechanneling of the spectrum to accommodate other unlicensed devices. (MEMA submitted comments on Nov. 28 in response to an FCC report that looked at potential sharing solutions between unlicensed devices and dedicated short range communications operations in the spectrum.)
In another related matter, the US DOT/NHTSA proposed rule to require V2V communications in passenger vehicles has stalled and been in limbo since the proposal was published under the previous administration in late 2016. MEMA has urged the agency to finalize that rulemaking to provide a set of performance standards and a level playing field for these technologies for all stakeholders to follow.
While US DOT has been supportive of the safe introduction of new advanced vehicle technologies, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has also made it clear that the Department is not “in the business of picking winners or losers.” And that the “market will determine the most effective solutions.”
If you’re interested in being on MEMA’s V2V-V2X Working Group, please contact Leigh Merino.