A European Commission push for a wifi-based standard has been rejected by European Union states.
Germany, France and Italy were among 21 countries to vote against the European Commission proposal at a Brussels meeting of EU representatives.
Reuters reports that this against vote contrasted the EU lawmakers in April who endorsed the wifi plan over 5G technology and that the auto and tech industries have been split over which technology is best.
The European Commission is reported to have said that unlike 5G, wifi is available now and would help road safety.
European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said in a statement following the vote, ‘We will therefore continue to work together with member states to address their concerns and find a suitable way forward.’
According to Reuters other supporters of wifi technology, which primarily connects cars with other cars, include Renault, Toyota, NXP, Autotalks and Kapsch TrafficCom.
Whilst bakers of the 5G standard include Daimler, Ford, PSA Group, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel and Smagsung.
Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA said on the vote, ‘Europe just got back in the connected car race against the US and China. Thousands of lives on the roads and thousands of jobs in our factories will be saved with this cutting edge technology. Europeans will also save billions of euros in a more seamless single market.’
The GSMA has said that it applauds the decision of EU Member States to reject draft connected cars legislation. It believes that the Delegated Act C-ITS would have locked in an ageing radio technology to connect cars and infrastructure with each other, thereby making it more difficult for advanced cellular technologies such as C-V2X to enter Europe’s market.
Reuters reports that 5G supporter 5GAA said the vote represented ‘a strong signal to the Commission that technology neutrality should prevail, Chief Technology Officer Maxime Flament said.
‘Only a level-playing field between existing technologies will allow safer, more efficient mobility on European roads,’ Flament told Reuters.
EU ministers are due to meet on July 8 when they are expected to formally reject the wifi proposal.