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WASHINGTON – Twenty years ago, automakers gained exclusive rights to use a portion of US airwaves for ultra-secure "talking cars" that communicate wirelessly, look around corners and avert collisions.

This future has not arrived. And now, with just one talking vehicle on the road – a lone Cadillac model – cable providers want to keep the automakers away from the frequencies.

NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, a trading group of members, including leading US cable provider Comcast Corp., has asked regulators to open these radio waves for Wi-Fi signals, which are increasingly supporting cable subscribers' traffic.

"The use of this band has failed," the NCTA said in a petition to the Federal Communications Commission. The US "can no longer afford to allocate these radio waves exclusively for vehicle-to-vehicle communication, in the hope that the next twenty years will somehow be different from the last two decades of stagnation," the group said.

Instead, the NCTA wants the FCC to initiate a new process to allocate all or much of the 5.9-gigahertz spectrum for so-called unlicensed use of Wi-Fi equipment to alleviate a lack of available bandwidth ,

The group also urged the FCC to complete its current radio-wave procedure by investigating whether unlicensed devices can securely share the 5.9-gigahertz wireless spectrum with connected vehicles without disrupting car-to-road collision avoidance messages infrastructure.

From General Motors and Toyota Motor Corp. Managed automakers have been the main proponents of the technology, which transmits data about vehicle speed and direction wirelessly between cars and roadside infrastructure to prevent collisions.

Under the Obama administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed calling for so-called "vehicle-to-vehicle" radios for all new automobiles by 2023, proposing agency research that could prevent 80 percent of unaffected collisions.

The mandate has stalled under the Trump administration. NHTSA has not taken any action as an opinion on the proposed mandate was closed in April 2017.

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SOURCES: CARSCOOPS BMWBLOG MOTORAUTHORITY
CLASSICCARS MOTOR1 JALOPNIK FOURTITUDE INSIDEEVS
DUPONTREGISTRY AUTONEWS OLDCARSWEEKLY
INDIANAUTOSBLOG CARCOMPLAINTS LUXUO AUTOPARTSWAREHOUSE
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