NHTSA Withdraws Proposed Rule on Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

On November 20, 2023, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) announced that it was withdrawing a previous proposal to create a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (“FMVSS”) requiring vehicle-to-vehicle (“V2V”) communications in certain new vehicles.

NHTSA’s prior proposal, published in a notice of proposed rulemaking on January 12, 2017, would have created a new FMVSS No. 150, mandating V2V communications technology in all new light vehicles using DSRC (a short-range wireless technology) radiofrequency transmissions. The proposed rule had also allowed for compliance using non-DSRC technologies, provided they were interoperable with DSRC and met DSRC-based technical requirements and performance standards.

However, as NHTSA explained in its November 20 withdrawal notice, since NHTSA’s January 2017 proposed rulemaking, an alternative vehicle-to-everything (“V2X”) technology has emerged and is supported by some industry stakeholders over DSRC. That technology, LTE Cellular-V2X, or simply LTE C–V2X, is based on cellular technology but does not require a cell tower to relay device-to-device communications. Additionally, as NHTSA noted, a 5G-based version of C-V2X is in development and has potential to be more effective than both DSRC and LTE C–V2X.

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