Spectrum Battle: Talking Cars Versus Tech Giants

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Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Matt Miller reports on the battle for spectrum between car makers and technology companies. He speaks on Bloomberg Television's "In The Loop." (Source: Bloomberg)

Microsoft, and comcast taking on the automakers to wrench more of the spectrum away from them.

It is typically very boring to talk about spectrum.

Only patent is used -- nestxt to patent disputes.

It is airwaves you cannot see but it is incredibly important to consumers and it impacts on two fronts.

A, you want to use video on your mobile device as more and more and you wanted to upload fast.

B, you don't want to be involved in a car accident.

Estimates is we will get in a car accident on average once every 17 years.

For me, it is a lot higher than that.

The way you drive, yeah.

I don't want to be in the car with you.

Those two things for consumers and for drivers and then also for congress, about $200 million a year for lobbying dollars.

If you look at the two sides in this fight who want to get access to a part of that spectrum that is very limited, the tech companies, the internet companies -- google, microsoft, comcast -- have given together $140 million a year to congress.

And that is only what we know about.

On the other hand, the carmakers have given $58 million.

It would seem they have the losing hand.

But carmakers also had unions that politicians typically care about, huge box -- blocks of voters and also they create jobs.

This is going to be an ongoing fight.


But we are going to see the benefits of what carmakers can give us very soon.

Vehicle-two-vehicle communication is already happening.

I talked to a lot of car executives about how this can save lives.

There were 5 million crashes on u.s. highways last year, which led to about 33,000 deaths.

The national highway transportation safety administration estimates that could be reduced by 80% if we were to use more of these vehicle to vehicle communication systems which automakers have already developed and have ready and they think it would only cost about $100 extra per user each car.

Seems like a pretty good gamble.

They need to use the airwaves to make the system work.

But what google and microsoft are saying, most of the time the airwaves they have allotted to them are not being filled up.

They are not being fully used by the systems.

We could come in and use the same spectrum and share this airwave use and it will not be problem -- a problem.

Don't worry.

Not used yet, is the answer.

What carmakers are saying as well, you don't know when we are

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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