The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is urging the UK government to allocate the 24GHz ultra-wide short wave radio frequency for use by motor manufacturers as soon as possible. Sensors using 24GHz monitor a car’s immediate surroundings, detecting objects, pedestrians and cyclists, warning of potential collisions and helping to prevent accidents.


Manufacturers in the UK and across Europe have already developed collision-warning systems that rely on 24GHz. However, the Radio Communications Agency (Rca) which believes there are possible interference issues with current users, including radio astronomers and short wave radio enthusiasts, has delayed their introduction.


United States federal bodies have already reviewed interference and compatibility issues and given their approval for automotive radar use. SMMT believes the same approval should be given in the UK by the RCA to promote the swift introduction of these life saving technologies.


SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said: “The government’s Road Safety Strategy aims to cut road accidents by 40 per cent by 2010. Key to achieving this target is the significant investment manufacturers have made in developing active safety systems that prevent accidents happening. Collision detection sensors that use 24GHz wavelength are an important part of the package.


“The technology is ready to roll, now the Radio Communications Agency must give us the frequency to use it,” he added.