Washington, D.C.—In response to the Alliance for Automotive Innovation sending a letter in support of preserving the 5.9 GHz “Safety Spectrum” to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) President and CEO Robbie Diamond made the following statement:
“The FCC’s plan to reallocate the Safety Spectrum would prioritize faster streaming over American lives and American economic leadership in transportation technology – precisely at a time when enough lives and jobs have already been lost. Fortunately, the FCC still has time to make the right choice for the American people by agreeing to preserve the full 75 MHz of the Safety Spectrum and accepting the auto industry’s commitment to deploying 5 million V2X radios in the next five years. Covid-19 puts into perspective the amount of lives that are lost on our roads annually. As we start to get America moving again, we must not cede further technological leadership to China that will threaten the U.S. car industry, nor allow the public health crisis of traffic fatalities to continue.”
“This commitment of the auto industry is precisely what the FCC is asking for,” Diamond continued. “They should take the auto industry’s enthusiastic yes for an answer and make sure that this critical spectrum is preserved. Streaming Tiger King might have the interest of many Americans right now, but the national interest – to reduce collisions and save lives on our roadways while maintain economic leadership in transportation technology – must come first.”
In comments submitted to the FCC in response to their proposal to shrink the 75MHz spectrum available for vehicle safety, SAFE noted:
- 36,560 Americans died in traffic collisions in 2018 according to NTHSA, and millions more were injured. The widespread deployment of V2X can achieve an 80 percent reduction in the number and severity of collisions involving unimpaired drivers.
- Traffic collisions cost the United States $800 billion annually once loss of life, injuries, and reduced quality of life are considered, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
- 3 billion gallons of fuel are wasted in the U.S. every year due to traffic congestion, with gridlock costing $179 billion annually. Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) communications can reduce travel times by up to 27 percent and reduce fuel wasted in congestion.
In addition, the Co-Chairs of SAFE’s Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC) — Frederick W. Smith, the Chairman and CEO of FedEx Corporation and General James Conway, the 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps — authored a letter to Chairman Pai urging the FCC to maintain the spectrum for vehicle connectivity, noting that “such a shift in regulation and approach threatens to derail the safety and efficiency benefits that the full Safety Spectrum can deliver, thereby disrupting American economic and national security goals.”
About Securing America’s Future Energy
Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil. Near-total dependence on petroleum in the transportation sector undermines the nation’s economic and national security, and constrains U.S. foreign policy. To combat these threats, SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, and transportation sector innovations including electric vehicles, natural gas trucks, and autonomous vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing the United States’ dependence on oil. Today, the ESLC is co-chaired by Frederick W. Smith and General James T. Conway (Ret), 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.