Ultra-Wideband Devices Don't Stop

On November 27, 2023, the Federal Communiation Commission released a modification of their previous November 2, 2023 Order to change the part 15 rules to remove a single waiver conditions that requires CPR devices to cease operation when the vehicle on which it is mounted comes to a stop. The Waiver Order waived Sections 15.509(b) and 15.525 of the Commission’s rules to permit the marketing and operation of GPR’s driver-assistance safety technology that is designed to used Ultra-Wideband (UWB) ground penetrating radar to “read” subterranean information the is used to help keep vehicles in lane under different driving conditions. The Waiver Order included multiple conditions hoping to limit potential harmful interference from GPR’s devices to authorized services while still allowing for its deployment in vehicular applications.

On November 13, 2023, GPR requested a modification of the Waiver Order to remove condition 6, which requires the GPR device to cease operation when the vehicle, the device is attached on too, comes to a stop. GPR reasoning for this removal is that the the stops allows the device to update the system’s design to improve its functionality and safety now require it to begin transmitting continuously when the vehicle’s electrical power systems begins operating, including when the vehicle is temporarily stopped. Like when a driver stops at a stop light or sign. The benefit of the continuous UWB outputs while stopped allows for the system to make constant vehicle position corrections, which substantially increases the positioning accuracy and timeliness of vehicle position data when moving from a situation when the vehicle has come to a complete stop. GPR sates that this change would not result in any significant increases in the interference potential of the device.

The Commission’s rules if the petitioner demonstrates good cause for requesting a waiver. A good cause must follow the standard “where particular facts would make strict compliance inconsistent with the public interest.” To make this public interest determination, any waiver cannot undermine the purpose of the rule, and there must be a stronger public interest benefit in granting the waiver than in applying the rules. After a review, the Commission has come to the conclusion that removing condition 6 of the Waiver Order will not undermine the purpose of the UWB rules of preventing harmful interference to authorized services. The likelihood of harmful interference from the GPR device is extremely unlikely due to a number of factors. These factors include operating in frequency bands that were selected to reduce the likelihood of harmful interference to authorized services, device runs on lower power levels with emission sin adjacent bands attenuated to protect services in those bands, only when pointed at the ground, and under conditions that limit how the devices may be deployed. The increased device transmission time resulting from the removal of condition 6 would be minimal and would not significantly alter the harmful interference environment.

So upon further inspection of this waiver request, we have found that removing this condition is in the pubic’s best interest. The Waiver Order notes the significant new public interest benefit in the development field of subterranean driver assistance technologies, and that because the GPR system relies on locating underground features that are not obscured by weather conditions and that do not change significantly with time, it will increase the reliability and safety of driver-assistance technologies and autonomous vehicle navigation. The continuous allowance of the DPR device operating even while stopped will significantly increase the accuracy without lag time of the vehicle’s position data when a vehicle moves from a temporary stop. This timeliness and accuracy will increase safety and benefits the public’s interest in the long term as we advance driver assistance technologies and autonomous vehicle navigation. Therefore, the Commission modifies the Waiver Order by removing condition 6. Consistent with this action, minor revisions to conditions 9 by removing the reference to condition 6 so that condition 9 now reads, “GPR shall include conditions 5,7, and 8 above in its sale contracts with its customers.

Accordingly, pursuant to authority delegated in Sections 0.31 and 0.241 of the Commission’s rules 47 CFR §§ 0.31, 0.241, and Section 1.3 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR § 1.3, IT IS ORDERED that GPR’s November 13, 2023 request to remove conditions 6 from OET’s November 2, 2023 Waiver Order IS GRANTED consistent with the terms of this Order. This action is taken pursuant to Sections 4(i), 302, 303(e), and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. Sections 154(i), 302, 303(e), and 303(r). This action is effective upon release of this Order. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, if no applications for review are timely filed, this proceeding SHALL BE TERMINATED< and the docket CLOSED.

For more details please click LINK to view the full Order.

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