First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com
Trade association ITS America has expressed disappointment that Toyota is pausing its Vehicle to Everything (V2X) deployment in the US.
The Japanese car maker sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) saying that a lack of activity from other manufacturers on V2X – plus uncertainty over the regulatory position – had led to the decision.
In a statement, ITS America said it was ‘disappointed’, adding: “We appreciate Toyota’s leadership and commitment to life-saving V2X technology.” The organisation concluded: “Sadly, the real tragedy is that 100 people will continue to die every day on US roadways. It is imperative that the FCC provide clear guidance and certainty to the private sector companies and road operators that are trying to create a safer environment by deploying V2X communications.”
In April last year, Toyota announced that it would deploy dedicated short range communications (DSRC) systems on vehicles sold in the US from 2021, with the goal of adoption across most of its ranges “by the mid-2020s”.
But in the letter to the FCC, Hilary M. Cain, Toyota’s director, technology and innovation policy, wrote: “Although there continues to be general excitement about DSRC and the benefits of widespread deployment among key stakeholders, since our product announcement, we have not seen significant production commitments from other automakers.”
Cain went on: “Moreover…the regulatory environment surrounding the 5.9 GHz band has become even more uncertain and unstable.”
Toyota believes there is a possibility of unlicensed operation at 5.9 GHz, adding that the FCC “recently initiated a second proceeding to explore the possibility of reallocating channels away from DSRC to Cellular Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X)”.
This is certainly of interest to other car manufacturers: for example, Ford announced earlier this year that its cars will be equipped with C-V2X technology in the US from 2022.
But Cain wrote: “Unpredictability around whether DSRC will continue to have access to the entire 5.9 GHz band poses a significant challenge to the real-world deployment of a collision avoidance technology.”
The letter reaffirmed Toyota’s “strong support” for DSRC technology – but insists that “the entire 5.9 GHz band should be preserved for DSRC”.
Toyota says it will “continue to re-evaluate the deployment environment”.