US: automakers fight technology companies even in the wireless space image

Signaling what car wars might actually look like in the near future, an association of carmakers has recently asked the US Federal Communications Commission to fend off a request from technology company Qualcomm.

The latter has asked that certain unlicensed wireless devices would be allowed operation across the portion of the wireless spectrum that has been reserved for vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems. The manufacturers, using the voice of Crash Avoidance Metrics Partners (CAMP) of Farmington Hills, Michigan, believe the access could lead to harmful interference with the upcoming V2V vehicle safety technology. Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, Subaru, VW, Audi and Volvo Truck are all enlisted into the CAMP. Using a letter sent to the FCC, the automakers and the US Department of Transportation jointly asked the proposal to be denied. This latest development shows a growing dispute being prepared between carmakers and technology companies for control over crucial, future vehicle systems.

The US Department of Transportation has been implicated in vehicle to vehicle communication experiments since 2012, with numerous programs designed to test several different accident-prevention strategies, including warning systems that can prevent the driver of certain hazards, such as pedestrians or cars entering an intersection from the side. The messages between vehicles use a special, dedicated, Wi-Fi spectrum – reserved by the FCC at the 75 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.9-gigahertz band. Back in March, Qualcomm introduced a new product specifically designed for automakers and motorists, with LTE features, all major 3G/2G cellular standards, on-chip integration of global position support and built-in software for global regulatory mandates such as the European eCall system.