EU member states rejected a European Commission (EC) proposal to deploy Wi-Fi-based technology in connected cars and potentially bypass 5G, giving a boost to industry groups which strongly opposed the move.
The objection was confirmed following a vote and the proposal will now likely go back to the EC to be redrafted before being resubmitted to the European Council by the end of the year.
Industry groups including the GSMA, GSA, ETNO and the 5G Automotive Association were among those that hit out at the EC’s proposal, which was put forward in March with the aim of advancing deployment of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) on European roads.
The C-ITS proposal backed ITS-G5 connectivity, which is compatible with the 802.11p Wi-Fi standard.
However, industry groups, backed by separate statements from companies including German heavyweights Deutsche Telekom and BMW among others, argued the technology proposed was outdated and failed to ensure technology neutrality.
The heart of their opposition was based on the fact it would make it harder to deploy mobile technology on European roads, such as 5G-powered Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X), which they said would risk undercutting Europe’s 5G future.
Member states’ approval was required for the EC proposal to become law.
The GSMA and ETNO swiftly welcomed the rejection: in a statement, the former said the C-ITS proposal “would have locked in an ageing radio technology to connect cars and infrastructure with each other, thereby making it more difficult for advanced cellular technologies such as C-V2X to enter Europe’s market”.
“Europe just got back in the connected car race against the US and China,” added director general Mats Granryd. “Thousands of lives on the roads and thousands of jobs in our factories will be saved with this cutting edge technology. Europeans will also save billions of euros in a more seamless single market.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back