An Australia-wide connected vehicle network, known as Co-operative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS), is a step closer to being a reality after the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced its intention to allocate the 5.9 GHz band by early 2017.

ACMA has released a consultation paper outlining the proposed regulatory measures to support the national rollout of C-ITS.

FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said the regulatory framework provided by ACMA is an essential first step in the development of an integrated, automated and connected driving network in which vehicles will be able to digitally exchange information with other vehicles sharing the same road and, equally importantly, allow vehicles to communicate with the road network and surrounding infrastructure.

“To make C-ITS operable, we needed a way in which all the players can share a common digital language – and this provides it,” Mr Weber said.

“This confirms that the Australian C-ITS standards will be the same as that used in EU. Any vehicles operating on other frequency bands, such as those built specifically for use in the Japanese domestic market, will not be able to communicate with ours. And what is equally important, any vehicles imported that operate on different standards will illegally interfere with a range of other services here, such as toll roads and mobile phones.”

The FCAI has been in consultation with ACMA, Austroads, which is developing the all-important framework for the rollout of C-ITS nationally, as well as other major stakeholders.

“A national approach is vital to ensure C-ITS delivers optimal benefits no matter where in Australia you drive,” Mr Weber said.

“Properly funded, well-engineered and collaboratively supported, a world-class C-ITS in Australia will save hundreds of lives on our roads every year, optimise our investment in infrastructure, reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions, shrink our commuting times and, in doing so, relieve a huge amount of pressure from our emergency services and hospital system.”

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