FCC: New frequencies set aside for vehicle safety
The Federal Communications Commission has approved a plan to expand the bandwidth spectrum available for use with vehicular radars in an effort to enhance crash avoidance and expedite the application of autonomous and semi-autonomous driving. The ruling broadens the existing 76-77 GHz radar spectrum to include the entire 76-81 GHz range and transitions radars out of the 24 GHz band. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated this new frequency range is consistent with what is available internationally, thereby precluding the need to develop custom applications for various world markets.
Describing it as a “consumer-friendly innovation” that ensures optimum functionality and security of these systems, Pai noted expanding the available bandwidth will allow on-board radars to more effectively distinguish between objects in close proximity to the vehicle. Ultimately, the bandwidth upgrade will help all manufacturers in rolling out or enhancing a full range of driver-assists from collision avoidance, blind spot monitoring, pedestrian detection and lane change warning/assistance to parking aids, stop-and-follow/stop-and-go functions and autonomous braking. It also will help foster the introduction of innovations in this arena while potentially speeding up the overall level of autonomous capability.
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