Key EU lawmaking committee votes against EU wifi-based car standard

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A key committee of EU lawmakers on Monday rejected a European Commission push for a wifi-based technology for cars, backing critics who support the alternative 5G standard.

The EU executive is seeking to set benchmarks for internet connected cars, a market for carmakers, telecoms operators and equipment makers expected to be worth billions of euros a year.

The Commission’s preference for the wifi-based ITS-G5 would give Volkswagen and Renault an edge over Daimler, Ford and PSA Group which endorse the rival 5G standard C-V2X.

A clause requiring new technologies to be modified in order to be compatible with older technology has triggered alarm in the telecoms industry which is rooting for the 5G standard, and other involved parties.

The European Parliament’s transport committee said the clause would put a brake on innovation.

Commission digital chief Andrus Ansip, Finland and Spain have also voiced criticism of this requirement. The EU executive declined to comment on the parliamentary committee vote.

Parliament will vote on the Commission’s proposal on April 17, which can only be blocked by a majority. The European Council also has a say in the issue and would also need a majority of EU countries to derail the proposal.

Lobbying group and C-V2X supporter 5GAA has said the wifi push goes against the Commission’s campaign to promote 5G-based activities and boost economic growth.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Mark Potter

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