Spectrum Needs of Self-Driving Vehicles [October 28, 2014]   [open pdf - 57KB]

"Among the technologies that are emerging from laboratory environments to test their wings in the real world, the self-driving vehicle is a noticeable standout. Autonomous vehicles is a class of communications and decision-making technologies that are part of what some describe as the Industrial Internet--the integration of complex machinery with networked software and sensors. By 2020, there are likely to be 50 billion devices in this category […]. Many of the devices will require wireless communications and converge with commercial rollout of the next generation of communications technologies (fifth-generation, or 5G). Identifying radio frequency spectrum for multiple technologies, uses, and users in a fifth-generation communications environment will likely become a significant policy issue, as demonstrated by the current debate about access to the 5.9 GHz [gigahertz] band for vehicle communications for crash avoidance. Bills that address some of the issues raised in the debate have been introduced by Senator Rubio (S. [Senate] 2505) and Representative Latta (H.R. [House of Representatives] 5125)." This Insight discusses three types of Vehicular Communications Systems: (1) "Connected" cars, describing personal and emergency systems communications; (2) "Talking" cars, which refers to vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications; and (3) "Self-driving" cars, which are autonomous vehicles currently in the development phase.

Report Number:
CRS Insight, IN10168
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