The Role of Roadside Assistance in Vehicular Communication Networks: Security, Quality of Service, and Routing Issues

The Role of Roadside Assistance in Vehicular Communication Networks: Security, Quality of Service, and Routing Issues

George Kadas (Alexander TEI of Thessaloniki, Greece) and Periklis Chatzimisios (Alexander TEI of Thessaloniki, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2223-4.ch001
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Vehicular Communication Networks is a subcategory of Mobile Communications Networks that has the special characteristics of high node mobility and fast topology changes. In the current chapter, the authors outline the basic characteristics and concepts of vehicular communications and present the standardization and network deployment efforts carried out by the scientific community. In particular, they focus their attention on the vehicle-to-infrastructure component of the network; moreover, the authors specifically investigate security, quality of service, and routing, which constitute three of the most challenging aspects in the field of Vehicular Networks. The authors further examine the ways that infrastructure can provide efficient solutions to the problems that exist for each respective category and review several proposed solutions.
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Overview And Background Of Vanets

Vehicular communications is an emerging part that has attracted much interest from academia and industry. In this chapter, we explore the aspects of vehicular communications and vehicular ad-hoc networks (VANET) to draw our attention on Vehicle-to-Infrastructure traffic model. In particular, we examine certain mechanisms to security-proofing a vehicular network, to provide quality of service according to certain needs and to route data traffic

What is a VANET?

A vehicular ad-hoc network (Hassnaa & Yan, 2009), acronymed VANET, is a special type of mobile ad-hoc network, utilizing vehicles as mobile nodes to create a network. This type of network can either be purely ad-hoc, meaning that all the traffic is being handled by the network nodes alone, or it may be assisted by the roadside network creating a vehicle-to-infrastructure relation in the network.

Inter-Vehicle Communications

Inter-vehicle communications allow a mobile vehicle to communicate with its surrounding environment, mobile or fixed networks. More specifically, vehicular nodes can communicate with their peers either via vehicle-to-vehicle communications or through the fixed roadside infrastructure. The communication and the delivery of information may range from motion data (speed, direction, location, etc.) to Internet media content, through the wide variety of supported applications that operate in a vehicular network.

The demands of the applications that operate in the vehicular environment, along with the properties and special traits of the vehicular access networks define the design and the requirements of the security provision, the quality of service provision, and the routing process within the network.

Inter-Vehicle Communication Challenges

The vehicular networks pose some serious challenges (Blum, Eskandarian, & Hoffmman, 2004) as the network’s deployment is not an easy task. Moreover, the sparse deployment of the roadside infrastructure often plays key role to the smooth operation of the network.

Furthermore, we outline some of the major challenges that vehicular networks face and the possible ways that roadside equipment can help mitigate or even overcome those challenges.

  • Absence of central coordination: While this is a major drawback of the purely ad-hoc part of the network, it poses no threat for the vehicle-to-infrastructure communication model, as the infrastructure assumes the role of the central coordinator for all the nodes that are in communication range with it.

  • Dynamic network: One of the special traits of a vehicular network is its dynamic nature, which is a result of the mobile nodes and the high speed they develop considering the fact that they are vehicles. This results in a highly disconnected network, where the communication windows between nodes are often narrow. However, the deployment of the infrastructure and its use as an active part of the network comes from the need to solve the previously reported problem. Thus, infrastructure is employed to provide a level of stability to the dynamic network by coordinating the communication between its participants.

  • Security concerns: Even though it will be analyzed later in chapter, it is really important to mention the issue of security that has risen with the VANET deployment. While the need for privacy and a secure environment is imperative to the deployment of a vehicular network, such environment cannot be guaranteed without the assistance of roadside networks. In this case, a certain security policy is enforced on the network and the infrastructure is used to oversee it.

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