Wireless Communications In Autonomous Driving: What It Is, Who Regulates It and Why We Care

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Squire Patton Boggs
275 Battery St, Suite 2600
San Francisco, 94111

In order to make autonomous vehicles fully functional they must have the capability to operate uninterrupted in the radio spectrum. With spectrum-related discussions becoming a high priority in the automotive and tech industries, our panel will discuss the importance of understanding the role of wireless communications and radio frequency spectrum in autonomous technologies.

Without access to adequate spectrum resources, many of the systems on which autonomous vehicles will rely on cannot function, including navigation (GPS), vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) systems. These issues include but go well beyond the current controversial proposal before the FCC to share the spectrum allocated for V2V and V2I with unlicensed WiFi.

Speakers for this session will include Dean Brenner, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs for Qualcomm, and Dorothy Glancy, professor of law at Santa Clara University. Our panel will address issues such as:

  • Government: Who are the policymakers and lawmakers that decide these issues? Who will be responsible in the new administration? What is the role of the states?
  • Spectrum as a limited resource: How are these technologies regulated and by which agencies? What regulatory framework is needed to enable industry to take full advantage of the use of spectrum in autonomous technologies? What are the proposals for sharing spectrum?
  • Spectrum-based technologies: What are the spectrum-based technologies related to autonomous driving?
  • Safety concerns: What are the safety issues related to the use of spectrum (such as interference)?

Please save the date for the next in-depth discussion in our Autonomous Driving Series, led by Robert B. Kelly, chair of our Communications Practice, who will be making introductory remarks.