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Communications Transportation Government United States Wireless Networking

Carmakers Oppose Opening Up 5GHZ Spectrum Space For Unlicensed Wi-Fi 186

s122604 writes "Automakers aren't too happy about a recent U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal, which uses part of the wireless spectrum assigned to vehicle-to-vehicle technology for Wi-Fi instead. The FCC announced that it plans to free up 195 MHz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band for unlicensed use in an effort to address the U.S.' spectrum crisis. This could potentially lead to Wi-Fi speeds faster than 1 gigabit per second."
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Carmakers Oppose Opening Up 5GHZ Spectrum Space For Unlicensed Wi-Fi

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  • by DeathFromSomewhere ( 940915 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @09:30PM (#42986809)
    Do you only have one device in your house? Because I'm pretty sure a lot of us have multiple.

    Remember kids, "I can't use this" is not the same thing as "nobody can use this".
  • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @04:39AM (#42988067)

    The problem with this article is people have no idea why the car manufacturers are upset, all they see is some big corporation opposing the release of more unlicensed public spectrum (and some sensationalist WIFI BS by bloggers). Or course this draws out the communists among us that want all corporations to go away.

    This all fails to miss the entire point of why the Auto companies are opposing this. This spectrum is directly adjacent to spectrum allocated for intercar communication. What is intercar communication? It's spectrum that was allocated a number of years ago to allow direct communication between vehicles. What is the point of that? Well one of the key aspects of this spectrum is that without it you don't have reliable inter-car communication which will greatly hamper self driving cars.

    See, if you are going to have self driving cars those cars need to be able to communicate with each other, they need to tell the cars around them that they need to change lanes, or that they are breaking. The holy grail of self driving cars is a situation where cars are driving 70MPH with about 2 feet between them. This will greatly increase the density of cars and allow the freeways to operate about 200% more efficiently than now. But for that all to work that cars have to tell each other what they are doing so the other vehicles can react. Even with no perception-reaction time for computers you will greatly decrease the possible efficiency if the cars can't communicate real time. The only way to make this safe is dedicated spectrum with low interference.

    If we have thousands of WIFI signals in adjacent spectrum there will be so much interference that the systems won't be reliable, the result will either be safety problems or drastically reduced efficiency. Self driving cars are a holy grail of ITS (intelligent transportation systems) that has been being pursued since the early 90's. It will result in freeways that are so much more efficient than today that you could fit 3-4 times the number of cars in the same freeway without any slow downs or rush hour traffic jams. Not only that but you could read a book while driving to work.

    We don't want to impede or endanger self driving cars. The car manufacturers concerns about interference need to be taken seriously.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"