In this chapter, we will describe in brief the main features of an emerging class of next generation wireless networks, namely, vehicular networks. After describing the reasons for the growing interest in vehicular networks from the research, as well as the governmental and industrial, communities, we will describe the state of the art. We will then present some representative use cases and conclude the chapter by commenting on envisioned technological evolutions in the near future, and the related challenges.
Vehicular networks are short-range wireless networks formed by vehicles traveling on the road. Besides communicating with nearby vehicles, a vehicle could also communicate with radio devices installed on road side equipment such as traffic lights, lamps, etc. An important observation regarding terminology is that by the term “vehicular network” we mean a network where short-range wireless links are established either between different vehicles –V2V communications—or between a vehicle and a road side unit (RSU)—V2I communications. That is, we are not concerned with in-vehicle wireless networks, such as those formed by various Bluetooth devices co-located in a vehicle, which are also sometimes called “vehicular networks.”
A typical vehicular network architecture in an urban scenario is depicted in Figure 11.1: V2V and V2I links coexist and form a relatively dense network of vehicles, especially close to ...