This post will give you a short introduction to VANETs (vehicular ad-hoc networks). You will learn what are VANETs, VANET architecture, potential applications, and research needs.

As always if you prefer to watch a video I have a presentation (about 3.5 minutes) that is available here.

What are VANETs?

So what are VANETs? VANET stands for Vehicular Ad hoc Network. A VANET is a wireless ad hoc network that provides communications among vehicles with on-board units (OBUs) and nearby roadside units (RSUs).

VANET Broken Down

The purpose of VANET is to provide:

  • Connectivity while on the road to users
  • Efficient vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications that enable Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)

VANET differs in size, speed of the vehicles, the relevance of their geographic position, and have sporadic connectivity. Due to these characteristics, VANETs pose many challenging research issues, including routing, data dissemination, data sharing, and security issues.

VANET Architecture

There are three types of communication in VANETs. The types of communications are Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I), and Hybrid.

VANET consists of OBUs and RSUs that are deployed along highways or sidewalks, which provides communications between V2V and V2I.

Simple VANET Architecture
VANET Architecture Example

The figure here demonstrates the architecture of VANET. Our first four vehicles have access to an RSU which has limited coverage (the purple circle). These vehicles can obtain information from the RSU, but the other vehicles cannot.

These vehicles must communicate via V2V connections, and that is what the arrow is showing. Therefore, each vehicle communicates with nearby vehicles in a dynamic ad hoc networking environment via V2V communications.

Potential Applications

VANET communications can be used for many potential applications. Some potential applications include:

  • Safety
    • Collision Alerts
    • Road Condition Warnings
    • Merge assistance
    • Deceleration warnings
  • Entertainment
    • Internet Connectivity
  • Other Benefits
    • GPS
    • Toll Roads
    • Cruise Control
    • Autonomous Vehicles

Well, that is the end of our quick introduction to VANETs. I want to welcome you to the world of VANETs and I look forward to working with you!

PS: This is a summation of my VANET research if you are looking to cite something please see my publications.