Car-to-Car Technology Innovators Ask FCC to Defend Their Dedicated Wi-Fi Space

By Tracey E. Schelmetic February 12, 2013

If you spend a lot of time driving, or have a long commute, you’ll probably agree that the idea of self-driving cars is pretty compelling. People do a lot of stupid and dangerous things in cars, and with every year that passes, it seems like you take your life in your hands each time you head out onto the road. From distracted drivers staring at smartphones to NASCAR-wannabees cutting in and out of lanes in an effort to arrive at their destinations six seconds earlier, U.S. roads are becoming a more dangerous place.

It’s significant that distracted driving accidents have spiked sharply, and U.S. traffic deaths rose in 2012 for the first time in five years.

While self-driving cars are hardly right around the corner, a number of companies and consortiums have been experimenting with technology that allows cars to “talk” to each other so (essentially) they can avoid hitting one another. These car-to-car communication systems could also lead to traffic abatement and best-route navigation that could save on gas and emissions. 


Image via Shutterstock

The auto industry – most prominently Ford and Toyota and their technology partners and suppliers -- is being forced to defend its turf this week: that is, its Wi-Fi turf. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to propose rules next week that will allow new users into airwaves near those allocated since 1999 to developing car-to-car wireless communications. Car-to-car technology advocators worry that any interference will negatively affect systems that may be available in cars in the future.

Technology insiders worry the situation could become similar to that of LightSquared, a wholesale 4G LTE wireless broadband communications network integrated with satellite coverage whose services, initially approved by the FCC, used a block of frequencies located near the band used by the Global Positioning System (GPS). Evidence of potential interference with GPS systems ultimately caused the FCC to ban LightSquared’s proposed national broadband network. LightSquared filed for bankruptcy in May of last year.

“In a situation like LightSquared, what happened was the FCC got out ahead of itself,” Gregory Rohde, a former chief of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Commerce Department arm that oversees federal airwaves use, told Bloomberg News.

While the nation is hungry for more wireless and Wi-Fi bandwidth, auto industry spokespeople say this area is not the place to seek it, given the potential for car accidents from faulty systems or those overcome by interference. Automakers say the car-to-car technology could be installed in new cars at a cost of about $100 a vehicle, or sold as after-market devices.




Edited by Brooke Neuman

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Why People Don't Update Their Computers

By: Special Guest    7/13/2018

When the WannaCry ransomware attacked companies all over the world in 2017, experts soon realized it was meant to be stopped by regular updating. Even…

Read More

More Intelligence About The New Intelligence

By: Rich Tehrani    7/9/2018

TMC recently announced the launch of three new artificial intelligence events under the banner of The New Intelligence. I recently spoke with TMC's Ex…

Read More

Technology, Innovation, and Compliance: How Businesses Approach the Digital Age

By: Special Guest    6/29/2018

Organizations must align internally to achieve effective innovation. Companies should consider creating cross-functional teams or, at a minimum, incre…

Read More

Contribute Your Brain Power to The New Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    6/28/2018

The three events that are part of The New Intelligence are all about how businesses and service providers, and their customers, can benefit from artif…

Read More

TMC Launches The New Intelligence - an Unparalleled AI and Machine Learning Conference & Expo in Florida

By: TMCnet News    6/28/2018

TMC announced the launch of The New Intelligence conference and expo - The Event Powering the AI Revolution. This exciting new event will take place o…

Read More