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FCC Proposal Could Interfere With Car Accident Prevention Technology

If you will scroll down a little bit, you will see our March 14th article about the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s initiative to implement Wi-Fi technology into vehicles. In most cases, the administration believes that this will be a positive change to the hustle and bustle of everyday driving, and some estimate that it will effectively cut 80% of our annual traffic accidents. However, proposals and projects are seldom free of competition, and this one is no exception.

In February, the Federal Communications Commission proposed rules that would grant new users access to the airwaves closely related to those that have been earmarked for car-to-car wireless communications since 1999. The same technology that is being road-tested in the NHTSA’s yearlong $25 million study is now in threat of being jammed by this push to expand wireless technology use.

Trade associations representing companies such as Ford, Toyota, Delphi Automotive, Denso Corporation, and Robert Bosh recently signed on to a letter sent to the FCC’s Chairman stating their grievances and protesting the broadening of the Wi-Fi spectrum. Many of these corporations and manufacturers have spent more than a decade and many hundreds of millions of dollars on this technology’s development and claim that this interference cannot be tolerated in an area with “no margin for error.”

These automakers say that given the rate of their progress in this field, it is likely that new cars can start being fitted with Wi-Fi accident prevention technology as early as next year, and at a cost of about $100 a vehicle. “We’re finally at the point where we’re going to see benefits,” said the CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, “What we fear is a decision gets made without the necessary due diligence.”

The NHTSA, which has championed the project since it’s inception also commented on the FCC’s initiative to expand Wi-Fi applications using different spectrums, but warned that “with over 30,000 deaths on our nation’s roads every year, we also believe it is critical that efforts to open up additional spectrums do not come at the expense of revolutionary life-saving technologies. (USA Today)

As many industries have begun looking for new and innovative ways to do business, a great deal of companies are waiting intently to hear the conclusion of this debate. However, at Levin Perconti, as is the case at the NHTSA, our first concern is with our clients, and subsequently, with America’s motorists. Recently, our lawyers reached a $2.07 million verdict for one of our clients, who suffered multiple leg fractures as the result of an automobile accident. Our attorneys know how important driver safety is, and we have spent more than 20 years holding people who threaten it accountable for their actions.