EC earmarks single radio frequency for road safety and traffic management
August 6th, 2008

As part of its overall fight against road accidents and traffic jams, the European Commission has decided to reserve, across Europe, part of the radio spectrum for smart vehicle communications systems (so called co-operative systems). They are based on wireless communication technology and allow cars to ‘talk’ to other cars and to the road infrastructure providers. They can, for example, warn other drivers of slippery roads or of a crash which just happened.

Smart vehicle communication systems have the potential to make safer and ease the lives of Europe’s drivers: in 2006, more than 42,000 people died in road accidents in the European Union and more than 1.6 million were injured while every day there are some 7,500 km of traffic jams on the EU’s roads.

The Commission says its decision is also intended to foster investment in smart vehicle communication systems by the automotive industry, at the same time spurring public funding in essential roadside infrastructure.

The decision provides a single EU-wide frequency band that can be used for immediate and reliable communication between cars, and between cars and roadside infrastructure. It is 30 MHz of spectrum in the 5.9 Gigahertz (GHz) band which will be allocated within the next six months by national authorities across Europe to road safety applications, without barring other services already in place (such as radio amateur services).

(Source: European Commission)