Every year, six million car accidents occur on American roads. Unfortunately, 43,000 of these accidents are fatal, but they all cause financial, emotional, and physical hardship for those involved.
These disasters impose a significant toll on society. As reported by the National Safety Council, the expenses linked to car accidents in the United States surged to nearly $500 billion by 2023. To put that into perspective, it’s equivalent to the entire budget allocated to the Inflation Reduction Act under the Biden Administration or twice the combined market value of Tesla, GM, and Ford.
The vast majority of these crashes stem from avoidable driver mistakes. Human error accounts for nine out of the top ten most frequent causes of car accidents. While a fully automated transportation utopia remains a distant goal, the pressing question is what can be done in the present to tackle this issue.
Imagine if cars had the ability to establish instantaneous communication with their surroundings, including other vehicles, infrastructure, pedestrians, and the cloud. They would possess the capability to perceive and analyze information that drivers might miss. Presently, companies like Harman, a Samsung company based in Mountain View, CA, are implementing this technology known as cellular-vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X). Its purpose is to enhance vehicle safety, leading to a substantial reduction in accidents and driver fatalities.
The United States lacks mandates and policy roadmap to facilitate the implementation of C-V2X technology
Unlike the EU and China, the United States currently lacks nationwide mandates and a clear policy roadmap to facilitate the widespread implementation of C-V2X technology. This places the United States at a disadvantage on the global stage and introduces market and investor uncertainty. However, there is promising news as legislators and regulators have taken action. In April, the FCC announced that a select group of organizations, including Audi, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, and certain State Departments of Transportation, would be granted permission to utilize roadside and on-board C-V2X technologies within the 5.9 GHz band in the United States. This decision sets the stage for the swift deployment of this technology, which aligns with the significant investments the United States is making in smart and connected transportation and mobility initiatives across the nation.
China, boasting the world’s largest automotive market, is already incorporating C-V2X as a standard feature in new vehicles. By 2025, China expects that fifty percent of newly manufactured vehicles will come pre-equipped with C-V2X. It is crucial for the United States to avoid lagging behind in this pivotal technological competition, as it directly impacts road safety and serves as a cornerstone of the digital economy. Whether or not the United States takes the lead, C-V2X is poised to become a standard automotive technology. Therefore, the federal government of the United States must reclaim its leadership position in this domain.
Nationwide V2X Deployment Plan.
The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) recently hosted a V2X Summit, during which it pledged to create a Nationwide V2X Deployment Plan. This dedication demonstrates critical leadership in driving the adoption of these technologies. Transitioning to how this impacts the average American, government studies indicate that extensive integration of this technology in U.S. vehicles and on U.S. roadways could prevent a minimum of 600,000 accidents each year. Beyond the evident safety benefits, C-V2X represents a crucial innovation that will maximize the potential of autonomous and connected transportation.
However, despite the progress made thus far, there is still work to be done. Transitioning to the next point, the FCC must complete the C-V2X rulemaking process and provide the industry with a definitive roadmap. The implementation of these critical safety solutions will benefit all vehicles and vulnerable road users in the United States. Consequently, a national policy on C-V2X deployment will provide much-needed clarity and foster ongoing collaboration between public and private entities. Moreover, it will encourage accelerated 5G network deployment, increased investment in “smart” infrastructure, and expanded regional trials and demonstration projects.
Source: Fierce Electronics