Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) President and CEO Scott Belcher made the following statement on 18 Auguts in response to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) release of an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) and supporting comprehensive research report on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology.

“We applaud the U.S. Department of Transportation for taking this significant step to dramatically reduce the number of lives lost in traffic and pedestrian crashes,” said ITS America President and CEO Scott Belcher. “Today’s report and advanced rulemaking announcement reinforces the real-world safety benefits reported by our members in the automotive and tech communities, that vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology represents the next giant leap in automotive and pedestrian safety.”

“While we are at the cusp of deploying this life-saving technology, the biggest obstacle we face is the continued pressure on Congress and federal regulators to open up or reallocate the 5.9 GHz band of spectrum, which was set aside by the Federal Communications Commission for V2V technology, “continued Belcher. “We remain committed to exploring whether spectrum sharing is feasible in the 5.9 GHz band without risking interference from Wi-Fi devices, but safety is paramount and saving lives must be the first priority.”

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children and young adults in the United States, with an annual death toll of 33,000, over 2.3 million injuries, and an economic cost of $871 billion. Traffic congestion costs Americans another $121 billion in wasted time and fuel each year, stifling economic growth and creating an additional 5.5 billion hours of delay for commuters. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has estimated that V2V and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication technology could potentially prevent or reduce the impact of 80 percent of all unimpaired vehicle crashes, saving thousands of lives each year and dramatically reducing the nearly $1 trillion cost of crashes and congestion to American families and our nation’s economy.

As U.S. DOT continues to work with stakeholders to answer outstanding questions leading up to a final regulatory decision by 2016, Belcher added that ITS America is excited to be bringing the automotive, technology and regulatory communities together in Detroit next month at the 21st World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems taking place September 7 – 11 featuring keynotes by General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford, Verizon Communications Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam, and senior U.S. DOT and NHTSA officials.

Participants will have the opportunity to hear more about and discuss the ANPRM and supporting comprehensive research report during the U.S. DOT Plenary session on Tuesday, September 9 and the “Ask NHTSA” breakfast on Wednesday, September 10. The ITS World Congress will also feature the largest Technology Showcase to date of V2V and V2I communication technology, including ride & drives in connected and autonomous vehicles on Belle Isle and tours of the U.S. DOT-sponsored Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot in Ann Arbor.

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