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The auto industry said it will pose a risk to vehicle-to-vehicle technologies that need this wireless spectrum

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.

The FCC voted unanimously on the topic Wednesday of this week.

However, the auto industry said this would take away previously reserved wireless spectrum for vehicle-to-vehicle technology -- which has the potential to save lives.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which is a trade group consisting of Detroit's Big Three Automakers, Toyota, Volkswagen AG and some other auto companies, is among those who are upset by the FCC's latest proposal.

"[Automakers] already invested heavily in the research and development of these safety critical systems, and our successes have been based on working closely with our federal partners," said the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. "It is imperative that, as we move forward, we do adequate research and testing on potential interference issues that could arise from opening up this band to unlicensed users and that the commission not rush to judgment before this important analysis can be done."

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America added that "the desire of the commission to move forward expeditiously, while cautioning against putting near-term life-saving innovations like connected vehicle technology at risk in the pursuit of future Wi-Fi applications."

The auto industry isn't the only one concerned with the new proposal. Certain government agencies -- like the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) -- see commercial users jumping on bands used by these agencies and posing a potential risk in doing so. 

Source: The Detroit News

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What Needs to Happen
By Coldfriction on 2/22/2013 8:27:50 PM , Rating: 3
I'm reposting from an earlier article about this subject because I feel strongly that people need to realize the potential.

"Let me explain how this needs to occur to happen. The system needs to be broken up into several fundamental pieces.

The first piece is local area position far more accurate than GPS. Transmitters behaving just like GPS need to be located along transit routes. These need to have the ability to function exactly like GPS while also correcting GPS postioning errors.

Second, each and every vehicle on the road must be mandated to contain a positioning system that uses the local position system. A vehicle must know within a tight tolerance of error where it is at all times. It must be able to communicate it's position, velocity, acceleration, physical limits, etc. to every other vehicle nearby. How do you mandate this? No different than mandating that cars have brake lights to communicate deceleration to other drivers.

Third, the infrastructure must be in control. The idea that a vehicle must be autonomous is an example of nerds seeking the coolest most complicated solution to a problem. A vehicle does not need to be all interpreting of its surroundings in an attempt to replace an intelligent human being. Each and every vehicle must communicate to this infrastructure and the infrastructure must be able to communicate back in the case of automated vehicles. This has to be true of all vehicles automated or not.

The concept is that the infrastructure establishes a virtual road on top of the physical road that an automated vehicle would be able to follow. Imagine virtural rails established along which an automate vehicle would track. The virtual road contains details that an an fully autonomous vehicle has a hard time interpreting. The infrastructure can tell exactly how fast a vehicle should be taking a radius based on the known coefficient of friction, super elevation, etc. of the road. In my opinion any system that requires wires or some other indicator embedded in the superstructure is a lost cause; virtual rails are the only way to go.

How do you implement this? Step 1: Standardize via the FCC some standard for local positioning systems. Step 2: Implement the LPS and network infrastructure along various roads, beginning with interstates. Step 3: Require all existing vehicles to be fitted with a LPS communication device (perhaps the most politically reprehensible part of the process). Step 4: Record the paths of existing manual vehicles and their behaviors to establish the virtual road system so that it corresponds with what people actually do. Step 5: Allow automakers to use the established standards to simply make vehicles that will follow the rails while avoiding other vehicles. This shouldn't be so hard as it is made out to be with the massive instrumentation of autonomous vehicles. A car only has a few inputs that control it. The ability to drive your car on non-automated roads and then allow it to drive itself when desired should be the next big thing in the automotive industry. Step 6: Continue automating all the major roads in the nation and trickle down to local road systems. Eventually having a system of virtual roads so complete that purchasing a car that does not require manual driving is feasible.

Benefits: Reduced deaths due to traffic accidents. Construction crews can turn off a section of road that shouldn't be traveled during construction on the fly instead of coning it off. Drinkers can get around without killing people. Underage driving becomes a non-issue and people could theoretically allow their children to have an increased mobility. Cars could be self locating where a family could more easily share one vehicle. Dad could go to work and then send the car home for his wife to use throughout the day. Every parking experience could be a valet situation and parking could be way out of the way in an unseen location. Long distance drivers could sleep and travel through the night. When you pull up to an intersection your car could tell you when to turn instead of some $200,000 intersection lights. A properly balanced system with only automated cars would be able to eliminate stopping at intersections. Fuels savings for convoys and the lack of stop and go traffic would be enormous. Traffic jams should be severly reduced or eliminated if enough vehicles are automated (think of 3 miles of stopped bumper to bumper vehicles accelerating simultaneously instead of in a wave pattern).

In economics this system would allow proper network balancing and usage of roads. A digital toll system could be put in place charging tolls based on usage instead of taxing all fuel and throwing that money into a pot (works for any kind of vehicle whether electric, fossil fuel, nuclear, etc.). A quick route in high demand should charge more money and a longer route in low demand should be cheaper to travel. Privatize roads and allow people to charge with a profit motive to set prices where they should be; I don't trust government to set prices such that free market principles will prevail. Using weighted paths traffic becomes a software optimization problem and not a human behavioral problem. You could pay more for the priveledge of getting where you want faster. Knowing which roads to build and improve would be clear as day and not subject to some board of transporation's decision with interests other than optimization in mind.

I say we repurpose some chunk of NASA and make this happen in the United States. They can send a pretty neat bit of tech to Mars but can't do something so simple as this that would change humanity forever. If you think the interstate system boomed the economy after it was built, you should realize that this type of system would do the same.

End super rant. DOT Engineer here frustrated that the coolest implemented advancements in transportation infrastructure are slower and far lamer than what is possible with todays technology. BTW if anyone wants to hire me to work on such a system as I have described I'm all ears.

When I say free market principles I mean that price needs to be set as high as the market will bear without a false cieling restricting it because it's a "right" or some such nonsense. A road is a scarce resource that should be priced high enough as to not overload its use. The high price allows funds to be allocated to the expansion and construction of more roads where the demand desires them.

Roads run by a government without prices and costs being determined by a free market make them more expensive and/or less useful than they could otherwise be."

Take it for what it's worth, but we are living in a terribly unprogressive transportation world where progress is being artificially retarded (correct use of the word btw). If a person is valued at $6,000,000, which is an approximate figure a college professor of mine used to used, then drunks kill $75,000,000,000 worth of lives a year alone. We need to change something and it can be something that 98% of people would benefit greatly from.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By tng on 2/22/2013 11:31:55 PM , Rating: 2
Let me explain how this needs to occur to happen. The system needs to be broken up into several fundamental pieces.
I made it to there before I found out that you posted War and Peace.

There is a reason they call it a "comments" section.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By tim851 on 2/23/2013 7:01:40 AM , Rating: 3
A road is a scarce resource that should be priced high enough as to not overload its use.

Absolutely NOT.

Public and free roads are a prerequisite for individual freedom. I have a right to be poor. I have a right to be a nurse, a teacher, a social worker or any of the other undesirable jobs that poachers dare to have these days.

My choice of job must not limit my freedom of movement.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By FaaR on 2/23/2013 7:46:09 AM , Rating: 4
You don't have any such right, don't be ridiculous. Just look at the state of traffic in any of the world's major urban areas to "discover" how utterly WRONG you are.

You DO have inherit freedom of movement - you are born with legs (well, almost all people are) - what you do NOT have is inherit freedom of movement by driving an automobile anywhere you want, any way you want, anywhere you want.

That's a childish, self-centered fantasy, and you need to grow the frak up. Everything is NOT about you - contrary to what american pop culture may have been telling you all your life.

Space on roads is finite. Money and space to construct new roads is definitely finite. Ergo, you cannot be expected to have unlimited freedom to travel by car. This ought to be fraking self-evident to you, but somehow you have managed to evade this extremely basic observation.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/2013 9:21:18 AM , Rating: 2
Hey Comrade, where's your papers? You must have papers to travel this road! For the good of the Fatherland!!!

what you do NOT have is inherit freedom of movement by driving an automobile anywhere you want, any way you want, anywhere you want.

Uhhh in this country, yes, you do. As long as it's within the law. And the laws must be within the guidelines of the Constitution. Freedom of travel is a basic right. And it's disgusting that people like you would nitpick and "interpret" that in ways that are contrary to that intention.

Are you sure you should be living here? I think you would be better off somewhere else, where you have to show papers to get around.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By torpor on 2/23/2013 9:28:56 AM , Rating: 2
When the Romans built roads to allow the functioning of their empire, what company built the cars?

Roads are good for much more than just cars, but the OCD government types - and as a DOT engineer arguing road scarcity, you certainly qualify - can't seem to handle the idea that SOMEONE isn't controlling the whole thing moment-to-moment.

The ability to freely travel from here to there allows for most other features of modern civilization, especially trade. But folks like you are a small, easy step away from, "Papiere, bitte" every time someone wants to travel.

The history of the world demonstrates that government power is the greatest enabler of great evil. You should consider how the posted magnum opus could be terribly misused to realize why it will never happen.

You'd be much happier working for the Milwaukee Road. Perhaps you should look into that.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By Coldfriction on 2/23/2013 11:54:44 AM , Rating: 2
Roads hardly in use should be nearly free, but not free. Everyone arguing that the roads are free are full of it. One of the larger projects I'm on has a contract cost of $18 million for five miles of road on new grade running over four new bridges. How free is $18 million? How do you suggest that get paid for?

What I've suggested above is removing central government decision making so that it's not an individual deciding prices but the demand of the road that decides prices. Do you like the idea of representative taxation? I certainly do. Why not charge a small toll per mile of road used that directly funds the road being used and not some road in the middle of another state somewhere? If the price is allowed to rise to the free market levels, roads will be built where they should be and not where some government board decides they want one.

Believe it or not 93% of all roads funded in the state where I work come from the federal government. There's a place in this state that gets less than 2" of rain a year. Guess what? The feds require all disturbed soil be seeded there in the middle of the desert with your tax dollars. Those seeds will never germinate and never grow. It still costs money to put them down and it's required or the feds don't fund the work.

It must have been terrible during the industrial revolution to have multiple PRIVATE railroads competing for business and charging based on demand.

At the very least toll each lane at a different rate so that people who aren't willing to shell out the money to pay for the road don't slow down the people who are.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By Coldfriction on 2/23/2013 12:04:33 PM , Rating: 2
Correction to the above. 93% of all road funds come from the feds, not 93% of all roads are funded by the feds.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By tng on 2/23/2013 12:24:04 PM , Rating: 3
...the demand of the road that decides prices.
I like the idea, but you and I both know that the Feds will never revoke or discount the gas tax even if most roads are eventually paid for by use tolls. There is to much bureaucracy in DC that will block any such move and I am convinced that some federal gas tax funds are siphoned off for other uses.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By Coldfriction on 2/23/2013 12:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know the future so I can't be certain what the feds will do, but I do know that even if the feds never let go of their taxes, it'll be worth my time to point outg rediculous taxation until the day I die.

I'm a very strongly libertarian minded person, but I don't agree with everything in the party platform. You'd be surprised how many government employees aren't fans of the government, especially in regards to the feds.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By tng on 2/23/2013 12:47:57 PM , Rating: 2
You'd be surprised how many government employees aren't fans of the government, especially in regards to the feds.
Yeah I agree with you. I have been convinced for years now that we could replace every elected official in DC and it would change nothing because there are so many unelected people there that don't want change.

Tens of thousands of federal employees that all don't want to see any changes to their way of life, jobs, home and family. I can't blame them really, except that as I sit here on a Saturday and do my taxes, I realize that probably over 50% of what I make is gone for taxes and my family suffers as well...

RE: What Needs to Happen
By Mint on 2/23/2013 2:05:17 PM , Rating: 3
I realize that probably over 50% of what I make is gone for taxes and my family suffers as well...
You need to stop being so pessimistic and appreciate the society in which you have carved a top quintile life in (safe assumption, based on your tax statement).

Social security and welfare lets the elderly and poor purchase goods that provide demand to business. The Federal payroll (which is only 6% of spending, BTW) provides income to people which purchases goods from businesses. Federal contracts all provide demand for businesses.

The point is that we're all in this together and it's an interconnected system. It's ignorant to think that the gov't is making your family "suffer" through taxes when your income and that of everyone purchasing your employer's products is partly dependent - directly or indirectly - on the spending from those taxes.

We've entered a new era where we're producing all the needs of 313M people without needing to employ all of them, i.e. there is a shortage of free market work, and it's only going to get more severe with technological advances. It's a demand limited economy.

There was an economic case for lower taxes in the past, but banks now have excess reserves for the first time in history, i.e. there is more saving - even at negative real interest! - than there is safe investment opportunity.

It's a demand limited economy and primary demand is the only solution. If those with income don't spend enough of it, then it must be redistributed to those that do; otherwise, the economy will necessarily shrink. Economists in the past never envisioned such a sustained absurd situation: why would the wealthy (FYI I'm not talking about you) "save" their money at -1 or -2% real interest, watching it shrink in purchasing power, instead of spending/investing it now to maximize value and provide jobs/growth? Yet here we are...

RE: What Needs to Happen
By Coldfriction on 2/23/2013 5:20:27 PM , Rating: 1
You are somewhat confused as to what an economy is. The value of a dollar changes. If the very wealthy that have all the money were to evenly distribute it, you would not see the benefit you think because the dollars would devalue very quickly. Too many people assume we exist in a zero-sum system.

The point of NOT giving people money who haven't earned it is that they DO NOT contribute to the great society you talk about. There is no reason to give money to people to then have it given to corporations. There is always something that can be improved and traded. There is no such thing as a demand limited economy.

If those with income don't spend it, the value of the dollar increases and the trade value of goods decreases such that they become affordable. That is exactly what is happening today. Some people suck up so many of the dollars today that if they weren't to do so the dollar would collapse in value and inflation would be so bad that the economy WOULD collapse. Where do you suppose the quantitative easing dollars go?

Everyone can contribute to a better world and they should definitely give something back for what they get. Your way of thinking will destroy what we've got and reduce the nation to a worse standard of living. The government does not produce anything that makes an individuals life better unless they took the means to do so from a person to begin with.

The laws of economics are immutable, the system you think exists is a false economy and not what is really governing the trade of things and the standard of living.

If goods are cheap, let people produce art and trade that to beautify the world. Don't give to people who sit and do nothing. And give some portion of what you are able to earn to charity, because there are certainly people who really do need help, but don't force it from my hand or anyone else's.

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home
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