FCC expands spectrum available for vehicle radar systems

The Federal Communications Commission has expanded the spectrum available for vehicular radars that are used for a variety of purposes, including safety applications like collision avoidance and adaptive cruise control. Access to this additional spectrum will enable continued innovation in this space, allowing these radars to better distinguish between objects in areas close to the vehicle. This action will improve performance for applications such as lane change warnings, blind spot detection, parking aids, “stop and follow”, “stop and go”, autonomous braking, and pedestrian detection.

The Commission’s action expands the current 76-77 GHz spectrum allocation to include the entire 76-81 GHz band and transitions radars out of the 24 GHz band. This is consistent with the spectrum that is available internationally, avoiding the need to customize the radars in vehicles for different markets.

The Order also permits the use of this band for fixed and mobile radars at airports that are used for important safety applications, such as the detection of debris on runways that could harm aircraft on take-off and landing. Making the entire 76-81 GHz band available at airports will allow for improvements to these existing technologies as well as promote the development of new safety applications, such as wingtip radars that can help aircraft avoid collisions with objects while moving on airport grounds.

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