FCC Makes Radio Spectrum Available for DOT's Intelligent Transportation Systems

The Federal Communications Commission last week decided to make a portion of the radio frequency spectrum available for the U.S. Transportation Department's Intelligent Transportation Systems operations, including communications between vehicles and electronic roadside systems.

The new frequency allocations will support ITS activities, which include intersection collision avoidance, transit or emergency vehicle signal priority, electronic parking payments, and commercial vehicle clearance and safety inspections that can be performed at highway speeds rather than requiring trucks to pull off the road.

Federal Highway Administration chief Kenneth Wykle called the decision "one more building block as we work toward our goal of integrated ITS deployment this decade in 75 cities and 25 states," he said. "Already, deployment of different ITS solutions across the nation have demonstrated between 15 and 50 percent reductions in crashes."

The FCC allocated a range of 5850-5925 MHz for Dedicated Short-Range Communications between vehicles and electronic systems on the roadside, such as those found at tollbooths and intersections.

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