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Talking Cadillac on collision course with Silicon Valley

Posted by Michael Thomas at

WASHINGTON -- General Motors is rolling out a sedan laden with gadgets that track other cars on the road and can automatically brake to avoid collisions, fulfilling a safety vision decades in the making.

Yet the 2017 Cadillac CTS arrives to skepticism in Washington, where Detroit’s dream of cars talking to cars is running into Silicon Valley’s wireless aspirations. Tech companies want to claim some of the airwaves dedicated to the car-safety systems 17 years ago, long before smartphones and mobile apps sparked a rush for new frequencies. That would mean GM, Toyota Motor Corp. and other automakers could be forced to share the frequencies. The rivalry shows how growing demand for mobile airwaves is upending what once were communications certainties. U.S. mobile data traffic tripled from 2013 to 2015, according to CTIA, a wireless trade group. According to a forecast by Cisco Systems Inc., U.S. mobile data traffic will grow sixfold by 2020. Safety, entertainment Carmakers say unfettered use of the airwaves is needed to assure safety. Dividing the airwaves may invalidate industry testing already done and “delay the deployment of life-saving technologies,” said Annemarie Pender, spokeswoman for the Association of Global Automakers, a Washington-based trade group representing 14 car companies including Toyota and Honda Motor Co. “Our view is that safety delayed is safety denied,” Pender said.  more ...

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