Industry groups ramped pressure on European regulators to make a u-turn on plans to mandate Wi-Fi technology as the primary method of connecting vehicles, ahead of a key vote on the issue by the European Parliament’s transport committee.

The controversial proposal was announced by the European Commission in March and immediately drew the ire of industry groups.

At the time the GSMA slammed the decision to select ITS-G5 technology, which is based on 802.11p Wi-Fi standards, as risking “undercutting Europe’s 5G future” as the technology was “outdated”.

Ahead of a vote on the proposal by the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism later today (8 April), ETNO and the GSMA inked a letter to officials urging a change of direction.

In a statement, ETNO director of strategy and communications Alessandro Gropelli said engineers rather than regulators were best placed to select technologies, noting recent successful trials of cellular-based technologies from Audi, Ericsson and Qualcomm.

He called on the European Parliament and Council to take a “unique opportunity” to change the direction of the process, adding: “We must ensure that Europe’s automotive sector has the option of embracing also future-oriented technologies like 5G, if it wishes. Being stuck on the slow lane cannot be an option in today’s global markets.”

Even if the proposal passes today’s vote it must still go through the full European Parliament and European Council before becoming law.