Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, ITS America, and Seven Organizations Issue Joint Statement on Preservation of the Road Safety Spectrum

November 20, 2019 – The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Intelligent Transportation Society of America are joined by seven organizations, representing a broad range of transportation safety stakeholders, in issuing the following statement on the importance of preserving the Road Safety Spectrum for Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) Technologies.

Those organizations include: American Automobile Association, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, American Trucking Associations, Association of Global Automakers, League of American Bicyclists, Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, and the National Federation of the Blind.

Connected vehicle technologies offer the U.S. a powerful set of tools to save lives, but only if these technologies are given the certainty of the safety spectrum needed for progress to continue. Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies are already being deployed in more than half of the states and dozens of cities for the purposes of improving road safety. This includes incorporating connected vehicle technologies into infrastructure.

These life-saving innovations require dedicated spectrum to ensure they work right every time without signal interference. Among other options, the FCC is proposing that unlicensed devices be allowed in the 5.9 GHz band. Our organizations support preserving the 5.9 GHz Safety Spectrum for transportation safety applications. We request that the FCC refrain from finalizing any action related to sharing of safety-critical spectrum for non-safety-related purposes until test results clearly indicate that sharing with unlicensed devices can occur without harmful interference to the incumbent technologies or other V2X technologies in the 5.9 GHz band.

36,560: lives lost and families shattered on U.S. roads in 2018. Our members are actively working on V2X technologies, and own and operate critical highway and other transportation infrastructure that connects vehicles to vehicles, to other road users, and to their environment. We are on the cusp of reducing these crashes and saving tens of thousands of lives. The automotive industry and other stakeholders are deploying V2X technologies into vehicles and infrastructure to provide advanced safety and mobility features. Additionally, connectivity will enhance the future of transportation, including automated vehicles. Threats to the dedicated spectrum could disrupt or even halt investments and innovations in this safety critical space.

Bicycle and pedestrian deaths increased in 2018. Bicycle fatalities were up 6.3 percent, and pedestrian deaths rose by 3.4 percent. Connected vehicle and infrastructure technology includes vehicle communication with bicyclists, pedestrians, traffic lights, and advanced alerts to roadway hazard. By providing drivers with timely warnings of impending crash situations, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology could potentially reduce the number and severity of motor vehicle crashes, thereby reducing the losses and costs to society that would have resulted from these crashes. In 2017, more than two million people were injured in motor vehicle crashes in the United States. [1] Motor vehicle crashes cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars each year.[2]

With more than 35,000 deaths on U.S. roadways annually over the last several years, we must take every opportunity to save the lives of road users. Cities, states and the transportation industry are moving forward with V2X deployments to achieve just that. It is time to provide road operators and automakers with the certainty they need to grow and evolve V2X technologies and deployment.

NHTSA, Research Note, “2018 Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview,” 10/2019 Multi-stakeholder Statement on Preserving Road Safety Spectrum
[2] Ibid