The European Parliment Transport and Tourism Committee are getting ready to vote on an act that would make WiFi technology the standard for autonomous vehicles as opposed to the alternative approach of using 5G technology. Concerns have been raised that a move back to a WiFi-based approach would hinder future 5G technology, as the systems would not be compatible.
This debate has been ongoing in recent years with some carmakers like Volkswagen backing the use of WiFi in connecting cars, feeling it is better suited to the vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology.
Telecommunication companies and some European Governments like Finland and Spain, argue a technology-neutral standard for self-driving cars is essential in keeping the continent out of the slow lane.
Andrus Ansip, a commission Vice-President responsible for the digital single market warned his pro Wifi opposition that passing the law would lead to “slow and patchy” development of autonomous cars, according to the Financial Times.
Those in favor of the WiFi standard stress the fact that this is the only form of technology currently available and with the great number of road deaths in Europe each year they can not wait for the newer technology standards to be ready.
If the legislation is rejected, the discussion over the technology standard will have to be reanalyzed after the European elections.