FCC adopts ITS radio service rules
The Federal Communications Commission yesterday adopted licensing and service rules for the 5.9 GHz band used for dedicated short-range communications in the Intelligent Transportation Systems radio service.
DSRC systems provide short-range – under 100 yards – wireless links that can be used to transfer information between vehicles traveling at high speeds and roadside units, or between vehicles that are traveling in close proximity to each other. ITS applications are seen as a means to improve traveler safety, decrease traffic congestion and enhance homeland security. The FCC had been working closely with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to foster the development ITS services.
“Smart radio technology means smarter highways, safer roads and a more secure homeland,” said FCC Chairman Michael Powell, in a statement.
FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein noted that more than 6 million crashes occur in the United States each year, resulting in more than 43,000 deaths.
Some of the proposed applications include advanced crash-avoidance systems, “intelligent” intersections that could warn drivers of a potential crash or tell them when it is safe to proceed through an intersection or grade crossing, and traffic signal changers that would respond to an approaching emergency vehicle.
DSRC devices currently operate on the same frequency used by a wide range of other devices, including garage-door openers and cordless phones. Because the FCC’s new rules dedicate the 5.9 GHz band to transportation usage, interference issues should be “virtually eliminated,” said the USDOT. The band primarily will be used for public-safety purposes, but “limited” non-public safety users would also be eligible for licenses on all channels.
Also working with the FCC to develop the rules was the Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS) of America, a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., that is dedicated to the advancement of ITS services. “The FCC’s decision is a major step which will initiate a robust nationwide deployment of ITS services for the delivery of various ITS public-safety applications,” said Neil Schuster, ITS America president and CEO.=