FCC Announces Connected Vehicle Spectrum Waiver
April 26, 2023

Pete Goldin

On April 24, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a joint waiver allowing 14 states, automakers, and other stakeholders to use the 5.9 GHz spectrum to deploy Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology.

A group called the C-V2X Joint Waiver Parties requested the waiver. The members of the group include:
■ Audi of America
■ Ford Motor Company
■ Jaguar Land Rover
■ Utah Department of Transportation
■ Virginia Department of Transportation
■ AAEON Technology
■ Advantech
■ Applied Information
■ Cohda Wireless
■ Commsignia
■ Danlaw
■ HARMAN International Industries
■ Kapsch TrafficCom USA
■ Panasonic Corporation of North America

The group requested a waiver of certain FCC rules applicable to intelligent transportation systems (ITS) operations, to allow use of C-V2X technology in the upper 30 megahertz (5.895-5.925 GHz) portion of the 5.850-5.925 GHz Band (5.9 GHz band).

The group submitted a request to allow:

■ the requesting automakers in the group to deploy C-V2X-based OBUs in their cars sold in the United States.

■ the requesting state DOTs in the group to deploy C-V2X operations, including RSUs and OBUs, throughout the relevant state borders.

■ the requesting equipment manufacturers to obtain the necessary equipment certifications for their C-V2X equipment.

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) released a statement saying: "Technology plays an important role in making our roads safer for all users. By issuing the Joint Parties’ waiver request, the FCC provides the certainty needed for our nation’s transportation technology industry to bring safety-enabling cellular-vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) services to the market. This will allow infrastructure owners/operators and automotive manufacturers to install technologies that have proven benefits - including crash avoidance for travelers and vulnerable road users, reducing traffic congestion and the associated emissions - to create transformative interoperable connectivity across the Nation."

The USDOT, in cooperation with the NTIA, DoD, NASA and NSF, conducted a data-driven technical analysis to help the FCC make a determination on the technical parameters requested in the waiver.

ITS America President and CEO Laura Chace stated: "The approval of this waiver is the first step to fully utilizing this lifesaving innovation and news we have long been waiting to hear. As deaths on our nation’s roadways continue to soar, it is critical that we maximize use of connected vehicle technology to keep all road users safe ... ITS America calls on USDOT and the FCC to build on this momentum and establish final rules that will govern V2X services within the 5.9 GHz band and fully protect V2X from harmful interference."

"The FCC's decision marks a significant step forward, but we will continue to advocate for wide-scale deployment of C-V2X as industry stakeholders join forces to build a smarter, safer, and more sustainable transportation future," said Tom Mooney, Head of Government Affairs at HARMAN, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics and provider of end-to-end connected vehicle solutions. "Now the real work begins of ensuring these lifesaving technologies get on U.S. roadways as soon as possible."