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Toyota to Congress: Consider Safety In Roadway Wireless Plan

November 15, 2013

Toyota Motor Corp. told a House Committee on Wednesday that the federal government shouldn't allow expanded wireless internet access on roadways until it can ensure driving safety.

John Kenney, principal research manager at the Toyota InfoTechnology Center in California, testified in front of the House Energy and Commerce panel overseeing technology about dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) technology allowing cars to communicate with each other and roadside infrastructure.

"Toyota is committed to helping validate a technical sharing solution once one has been identified," he said. "But we're not there yet and it's going to take a bit more time to see if we can get there."

Kenney said he was concerned that Wi-Fi signals may interfere with connected-car technology. Both operate on short-range wireless communication channels.

The Federal Communications Commission in 1999 allocated 75 MHz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band for Intelligent transportation systems (ITS).

"We are not conceptually opposed to sharing the 5.9 GHz spectrum with unlicensed devices," Kenney said. "However, we also believe that the creation of a sharing framework, or the implementation of sharing rules, should not occur unless and until a viable spectrum sharing technology is identified and testing verifies that there is no harmful interference."

Read more of Kenney's testimony here.

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