Harman Launches Dual-Mode Telematics Device

Harman International Industries Inc. has developed a new telematics transceiver that can work over cellular and dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) networks.

Carmakers can tailor the flexible system for either protocol, based on market availability and customer preference, according to the company. Vehicles also can switch between DSRC and cellular communication via over-the-air software updates.

The auto industry is split on which technology to use for emerging vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission set aside 75 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band for DSRC 20 years ago. But the technology is available only on a few vehicle models, and regulations concerning the spectrum have been repeatedly delayed.

So-called cellular vehicle-to-everything systems promise to be less expensive than DSRC, which would require a dedicated infrastructure to enable widespread use. DSRC is much faster than current 4G LTE cellular systems, but next-generation 5G technology will be faster than either.