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Toyota went before the House Energy and Commerce panel Wednesday to voice its concerns

Toyota Motor Corp. is worried that Wi-Fi could mess with auto safety systems, and believes it could be dangerous without proper testing. 

According to The Detroit News, Toyota went before the House Energy and Commerce panel Wednesday to voice its concerns. John Kenney, principal research manager at the Toyota Info Technology Center in California, told the panel that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) shouldn't allow Wi-Fi to use part of the spectrum designated for automobile systems until tested for safety.

“We don’t want a mom driving a car down the road with kids in the back seat, and because she happens to be driving by a coffee shop that’s using Wi-Fi, her collision-avoidance system turns off,” said Kenney.

Kenney said it should "be proven that no harmful interference will impair the safety-of-life mission for which that spectrum is allocated," including kids using devices in the backseat of a car. 

Vehicles would be in communication with each other and traffic signals [Image Source: Volvo Cars]
Automakers are currently working on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, which allows cars to "talk" to each other and communicate warnings to the driver as well. For example, your car could let you know that another vehicle ahead is about to blow through a stop sign in an attempt to avoid a crash.
In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said V2V could one day help prevent up to 80 percent of traffic crashes.
Automakers and governments have spent about $130 million for V2V research and testing. Also, 10 major automakers and technology companies have been working with NHTSA’s Connected Vehicle Research Program since 2012 in a V2V pilot study in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Toyota clearly wants to see the technology work and be implemented in the coming years, hence its most recent Wi-Fi concerns. 
But Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb) responded to Toyota's concerns, saying, “there is room for both.”

Source: The Detroit News

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Government Regulations
By dsx724 on 11/14/2013 3:02:00 PM , Rating: 3
V2V technology is stupid. You are relying on another computer to relay information that it may or may not detect. Laser and radar do far better for collision avoidance. The only thing you need on a car after an accident is a emergency beacon.

RE: Government Regulations
By Solandri on 11/14/2013 3:13:26 PM , Rating: 2
V2V is pretty much how air traffic works nowadays. Each plane has a transponder which broadcasts the plane's ID, position, speed, and direction. Radar is just used as a backup or for planes without a transponder.

That said, if the automakers want to go this route, they need to lobby/pay to get radio frequency allocated to them specifically for this purpose. Trying to squeeze it into the unregulated 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bands, then complaining about interference is just plain lazy.

RE: Government Regulations
By kerpwnt on 11/14/2013 3:44:02 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly what I was thinking. What kind of idiot builds a technology to use an unregulated spectrum, then turns around and complains that it is unreliable because it uses an unregulated spectrum?

It's like planning a private meeting in the middle of a public park, then complaining that there are other people there...

RE: Government Regulations
By Lonearchon on 11/14/2013 4:44:56 PM , Rating: 2
It its the opposite they are fighting. The Govt want to open up 5.9 to be unlicensed. Currently resevered for V2V

RE: Government Regulations
By DT_Reader on 11/14/2013 5:22:07 PM , Rating: 4
I don't think you understand. This is spectrum already allocated for V2V, and the FCC is proposing opening it up to WiFi as well to help ease WiFi congestion. I guess the FCC figures they're both limited-range, so no problem. Toyota disagrees.

RE: Government Regulations
By Reclaimer77 on 11/14/13, Rating: 0
RE: Government Regulations
By half_duplex on 11/19/2013 4:23:40 PM , Rating: 2
What kind of idiot builds a technology to use an unregulated spectrum, then turns around and complains that it is unreliable because it uses an unregulated spectrum?

The kind of idiot that wants to gain regulation over said spectrum.

RE: Government Regulations
By danjw1 on 11/14/2013 6:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
Are you referring to IFF or Next Gen (aka ADS-B)? IFF is pinged by the air traffic control system and goes to ATCs, who use the information to direct traffic. ADS-B actually works pretty much the same way, it sends position data to ATC computers who then broadcasts the locations to other aircraft. ADS-B is believed to use ground radar to prevent spoofing.

So, I don't believe that your comparison is valid. I do think that Toyota believes that others are ahead of them on this technology and are looking for a way to slow others down while they try to catch up.

RE: Government Regulations
By sorry dog on 11/14/2013 8:57:20 PM , Rating: 2
Today's ATC uses humans that look at computer screens that combine radar and transponder data, so comparison not really the same....but maybe he's thinking of TCAS which is not air traffic control, but is a safety net for collisions. Which even that has cannot eliminate all factors such as the Überlingen mid-air collision (controller gave opposite instructions to TCAS which contributed to both descending) and the 737/Legacy collision over Brazil because the Legacy's transponder either malfunctioned or was accidently turned off. So, in a widespread deployment for vehicles, I think it's safe to say that similar failures would occur despite best laid safety plans.


RE: Government Regulations
By degobah77 on 11/15/2013 8:42:16 AM , Rating: 2
ADS-B and the re-broadcast are pretty much done at the radio level out in the field, independent of any ATC equipment, which is why it's called automatic.

RE: Government Regulations
By topdomino on 11/20/2013 7:53:34 PM , Rating: 2
Data and communication standards have been developed through this research effort including the Society of Automotive Engineers J2735 Basic Safety Message and a standard communications architecture/platform communicating in the 5.9 GHz band of radio spectrum. - See more at:

RE: Government Regulations
By tayb on 11/14/2013 3:26:43 PM , Rating: 2
Lasers and radar do a great job of detecting but they can only react to things they can see. V2V is designed to supplement these systems, not replace them.

RE: Government Regulations
By kattanna on 11/14/2013 4:09:59 PM , Rating: 2
“We don’t want a mom driving a car down the road with kids in the back seat, and because she happens to be driving by a coffee shop that’s using Wi-Fi, her collision-avoidance system turns off,” said Kenney.

Hmm.. I'm not sure how the coffee shop wifi would disable her own eyes and ears.. her first real "collision-avoidance system"

RE: Government Regulations
By crimsonson on 11/14/2013 5:41:37 PM , Rating: 1
I don't he was arguing that the mother has no eyes. Your statement does not counter what he said and/or totally missed the point.

RE: Government Regulations
By ctodd on 11/15/2013 1:58:26 PM , Rating: 2
It is all about Big Brother and its desire to control every aspect of our lives. Before you know it, Highway Patrol won't even need radar. Your car will tell on you! Between this and black-boxes... it is all getting pretty ridiculous.

RE: Government Regulations
By gamerk2 on 11/15/2013 3:10:09 PM , Rating: 2
Black boxes have been in cars for decades; very useful for determining faults in accidents and the like. All the USG is doing is specifying the minimum that should be recorded, so there is at least some minimum standard followed by the car companies.

RE: Government Regulations
By marvdmartian on 11/18/2013 7:47:11 AM , Rating: 2
It might actually be easier (and cheaper) to stop giving drivers licenses to idiots who don't know how to drive, eh? After all, it IS a privelege, and NOT a right.

Of course, then the states will lose the tons of money they make off of those people....

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