The US Federal Communications Commission on Thursday approved allocating a larger consolidated block of spectrum for use by motor vehicle and aircraft radar systems to help avoid crashes.
The FCC first approved 1GHz of spectrum in 1995 for motor vehicles to use radar that allowed for the introduction of collision avoidance and adaptive cruise control systems that are credited with preventing tens of thousands of crashes annually.
Thursday’s decision expands the band that vehicle radars can operate to 5GHz of spectrum and will improve lane departure warning, blind spot detection systems, automatic braking and pedestrian detection, the FCC said.
In 2016, some 20 automakers reached a voluntary agreement with US auto safety regulators to make collision-avoiding braking systems standard equipment by 2022, a move that could eliminate 1 million crashes a year.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the agency was giving automakers “the bandwidth needed” to allow “proven technologies that enable services like collision avoidance, blind spot monitoring, and lane change assistance” and allow for “new innovations.”
Automakers will exit some other smaller portions of spectrum used for some radar systems as part of the expansion after 2022, the FCC said.
The vote harmonizes vehicle spectrum with European rules that could allow automakers to bringtechnologies to the US market faster, the FCC said.
The decision will also lead to improved aviation safety by boosting foreign object debris detection radars on airport runways and aircraft wingtip radars that can help avoid collisions with objects while moving on airport grounds.
The move was prompted by…