Article by Elisabeth Uhlemann
In 1999, the FCC reserved 75 MHz of spectrum in the 5.9-GHz band for automakers to develop technology that allows vehicles to communicate with each other. DSRC was developed with this aim and includes V2V, vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), and vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) communications, collectively referred to as V2X technologies.
However, due to spectrum shortage and competing business models, as discussed in previous columns, there are uncertainties as to whether the existing spectrum allocation is to be revised to allow for alternative technologies. For this reason, there is currently a battle for frequency spectrum.
In December 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which mandates V2X communications for new light-duty vehicles and standardizes the format and performance requirements of V2X messages. The NPRM identified DSRC as the primary communication medium; however, the Trump administration has, thus far, not acted on the proposal.
At the end of 2018, the DOT issued a notice of request for comments as mentioned previously. To this end, nine different questions were asked, and the public was asked to give feedback no later than 15 February 2019.