Rep. DeFazio calls for Trump Administration to advance rulemaking on connected vehicle technology

Citing the Department of Transportation’s core mission to promote public safety, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) called on the Trump administration on Tuesday to advance rulemaking that would bring connected vehicle technology to all new vehicles.

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The technology, known as Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC), uses two-way wireless communications to foster vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications. It can be used to issue safety alerts that reduce crashes and enhance mobility.

In a letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney, DeFazio noted that the Trump administration has not advanced rulemaking amid reports that the effort could be abandoned.

“Safety advocates and automakers agree on the need for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) connected vehicle rulemaking,” DeFazio, the ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, wrote. “Technology companies oppose the rule because they would like to increase their spectrum allocation to boost profits. Faster access to Snapchat should not be a higher priority than the prevention of tens of thousands of traffic deaths per year.”

V2V communication, DeFazio added, can “dramatically improve safety benefits” to vehicles that are driven autonomously and by humans.

“This safety benefit only becomes a reality if the Office of Management and Budget allows the DSRC rulemaking to move forward,” DeFazio said.