April 28, 2020 Press Release

Auto Industry Forms Consensus to Move Forward on Safety Spectrum Band Plan that Advances Lifesaving Technologies

Announcement aligns views to maximize safety benefits to drivers sooner

April 28, 2020 – The auto industry today announced that it has reached landmark consensus on how the 5.9 GHz Safety Spectrum band will be used by two critical Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technologies – Cellular V2X (C-V2X) and Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC). The proposal was included in a regulatory filing with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and in a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, just days after the industry announced a groundbreaking plan to deploy at least 5 million V2X radios on vehicles and roadway infrastructure within the next five years. The deployment announcement is predicated on the FCC maintaining the entire 75 MHz of Safety Spectrum for transportation safety purposes.  The industry now has a firm plan for how the entire band will be used.

“Through the buildout commitment and this consensus band plan, the automotive industry has clearly demonstrated its dedication to ensuring that the safety, economic, and societal benefits of V2X technologies are made available in the United States,” said Auto Innovators President and CEO John Bozzella.  “This band plan proposal, along with our members’ deployment commitment, clearly show that the industry is ready to move forward and optimize the use of the Safety Spectrum to enhance roadway safety.”

Added Bozzella, “We’re on the cusp of widespread V2X deployment. Vehicle connectivity will play a crucial role in optimizing road safety, bolstering our global competitiveness, and providing considerable economic and societal benefits to the traveling public everywhere.”

This milestone band plan permits both technologies to make beneficial and efficient use of the 5.9 GHz spectrum band in the near-term.  During the plan’s first five years, LTE C-V2X exclusively will operate in the band’s upper 20 MHz, DSRC exclusively will operate in the lower 20 MHz, and the remaining 30 MHz will be made available on a priority basis to Next-Gen DSRC and Advanced (5G) C-V2X applications as they are developed and deployed. After five years, a single technology will be selected to use the 5.9 GHz band going forward. That will also begin a ten-year phaseout period, during which the technology that does not prevail will phase out of its initial exclusive 20 MHz allocation in either the band’s upper or lower portion.

Today’s announcement follows last week’s Auto Innovators filing to the FCC outlining the biggest step toward widespread V2X technologies in the United States: a deployment commitment representing more than 50 times the number of devices on the road today.

V2X communication technologies allow vehicles to share real-time safety-critical information with each other and with infrastructure and other road users. These applications promise significant safety and societal benefits, including crash reductions that can save lives and provide economic, environmental, and transportation efficiencies.

Today’s band plan announcement, combined with last week’s deployment pledge, demonstrates the auto industry’s aggressive work, along with other stakeholders, to dramatically increase utilization of the 5.9 GHz band for transportation safety.