ITSA, AASHTO Reiterate Full 5.9GHz Band Needed to Reduce Crashes
WASHINGTON – In oral arguments today in the D.C. Circuit Court, the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) reiterated that preserving the entire 5.9 GHz spectrum band for transportation communications is critical to reducing crashes and improving safety on U.S. roads.
On June 2, 2021, the organizations filed an appeal of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) order regarding unlicensed devices in the 5.9 GHz band. The lawsuit sought to reverse the FCC’s reallocation of 60 percent of the band to unlicensed, non-transportation uses and ensure Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technologies can continue to safely operate throughout the 5.9 GHz band. Access to the entire 75 MHz of spectrum is necessary to deploy the full suite of connected vehicle technologies and fully realize the safety benefits of V2X.
“The loss of life is devastating, particularly given recent trends – roadway fatalities increased eight percent in 2020 (over 2019) and by another 18 percent in the first half of 2021,” said Laura Chace, President & CEO of ITS America. “Connected vehicle technology is our best tool to make roads safer and save lives, and we can’t leave it on the sidelines.”
“AASHTO and a broad cross-section of transportation safety experts and stakeholders have steadfastly objected to retaining anything less than the current 75 MHz of bandwidth for transportation,” said Jim Tymon, AASHTO executive director. “State departments of transportation are heavily vested in the development and deployment of connected and automated vehicles that have tremendous potential in significantly improving safety, mobility, and accessibility for all people.”
Chace and Tymon noted the FCC did not heed extensive concerns of dozens of transportation stakeholder organizations and safety experts, including USDOT and every state DOT, before it issued the final order.
Several organizations voiced their support of the legal case. The American Highway Users Alliance, American Traffic Safety Services Association, Institute of Transportation Engineers, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the National Safety Council filed an Amicus Brief, which focused on the need for ITS and the myriad safety benefits that this technology can provide. In addition, Continental filed an Intervenor Brief, which focused on ways in which the reduced spectrum allocation will make it impossible to realize all the benefits that ITS can provide.
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About ITS America
The Intelligent Transportation Society of America advances the research and deployment of intelligent transportation technologies to save lives, improve mobility, increase accessibility and equity, promote sustainability, and improve efficiency and productivity. Our vision is a better future transformed by intelligent mobility: safer, greener, smarter. For more information, please visit www.itsa.org
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials represent State Departments of Transportation in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. AASHTO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association serving as a catalyst for excellence in transportation. On Twitter: http://twitter.com/aashtospeaks.