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FCC, DOT Clash on Plan for Auto Safety

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Dec. 13, 2019—The U.S. telecommunications regulator voted to advance a plan to split a key spectrum block set aside for auto safety to accommodate the burgeoning number of wireless devices, but the Transportation Secretary warned that doing so could lead to “thousands more deaths” in traffic accidents, per a Reuters report.

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday 5-0 to advance the plan to split a block of the 5.9 GHz spectrum band that was reserved in 1999 for automakers to develop technology to allow vehicles to talk to each other. 

Some automakers and the U.S. Transportation Department favor using the spectrum for developing technology to allow vehicles to exchange data about location, speed and direction.

A group representing many major automakers, advocates for the blind, bicyclists and other interested parties urged the FCC not to act until it could complete testing to establish if the spectrum can be shared safely.

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