Intelligent transport systems
Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) are a group of new technologies designed to improve road safety and support the more efficient use of transport infrastructure. Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) is an emerging wireless technology developed to transmit safety and traffic information over short distances. DSRC enables data communications between vehicles (i.e. vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) mode). It can also be used for communications between vehicles and roadside infrastructure (i.e. vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) mode) to support traffic coordination and broadcast of safety information. Such systems are also known as Co-operative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS).
Some of the features provided by DSRC include:
- Intersection collision avoidance
- Road condition warnings
- Traffic emergency notifications
ITS deployment overseas
In the United States and Canada, the frequency range 5850-5925 MHz is allocated for ITS applications using DSRC-based technology. However, the technological development of DSRC has been slow. Wi-Fi uses the adjacent frequency band and the United States is assessing the possibility of allowing Wi-Fi to share the 5850-5925 MHz range, if it can do so without causing harmful interference to DSRC.
In Europe, the frequency range 5875-5925 MHz is allocated for ITS. The lower half of that band is designated on a non-exclusive basis for ITS traffic safety applications whereas the upper half is reserved for an extension of ITS, but its exact usage is subject to future review since the protection of ITS cannot be ensured in this sub-band.
In Korea, the frequency range 5795-5815 MHz is allocated for electronic tolling using DSRC technology. Korea initially reserved the frequency range 5 835-5 855 MHz for possible ITS application, but there has been no deployment to date and the official decision on the designated frequency range has been deferred.
In Japan, the frequency range 5770-5850 MHz is allocated for electronic toll using DSRC technology, as well as for vehicle-to-vehicle communication system. Due to spectrum congestion in that band in some parts of Japan, it was decided that the frequency range 755.5-764.5 MHz (760 MHz band) would also be allocated for ITS applications. A new standard (ARIB STD-T109) was then developed for this Japan-proprietary "Driving Safety Support Systems".
In Australia, the frequency ranges 5725-5875 MHz are dedicated for electronic tolling under its class licensed Low Interference Potential Device regime. Australia has permitted trials of ITS applications in the frequency range 5875-5925 MHz, but no official decision has been made on the designated frequency range for ITS application.
A summary of the major international DSRC proposals is shown below.
New Zealand position
Radio Spectrum Management is keeping a watching brief on ITS development, particularly in regards to the 5.9 GHz band. Although 5.9 GHz band might be suitable for ITS applications at some stage, coordination with satellite uplink stations fixed links may be required.
Work to harmonise the US and EU standards has been slow, and it is uncertain when this will be completed. If compatible with other uses, New Zealand would be likely to favour a joint US/EU standard for its own use. However, until the details of this standard are clear, it is difficult to judge the possible impacts on users of adjacent bands.
Used vehicle imports
Although Japanese imported vehicles with 5.8 GHz DSRC-based equipment may comply with the relevant conditions in the general user radio licence for short range devices, purchasers of these second-hand imported vehicles with such equipment installed should be aware that the ITS functionality is unlikely to work in New Zealand.
The Japanese ITS system in the 760 MHz band overlaps with the 4G/LTE mobile networks operating in New Zealand. While it is understood that this system will only be installed in vehicle models produced for sale within Japan, these would likely cause interference to, and receive interference from, the 4G/LTE mobile networks if these vehicles are imported into New Zealand. RSM is working closely with the Ministry of Transport to ensure a process is in place to remove the transmission capability of the non-compliant ITS module prior to these vehicles being imported from Japan.