Communications and Network, 2013, 5, 12-15
doi:10.4236/cn.2013.51B004 Published Online February 2013 (
Applications of VANETs: Present & Future
Vishal Kumar1, Shailendra Mishra1, Narotta m Cha nd2
1Department o f Computer Science & Engineering, Bipin Tripathi Kumaon Institute of Technology, Dwarahat, India
2Department of Computer Science & Engine ering, National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur, India
Email: ,,
Received 2012
The Vehicular Safety Consortium (VSC), the Crash-Avoidance Metrics Partnership (CAMP) consortium and the Vehi-
cle Infrastructure Initiative (VII) [1] along with the giants of the light-duty vehicle manufactures, are working to de-
velop pre-competitive safety technologies and various applications that can be offered in Vehicular ad-hoc Networks
(VANETs), a special kind mobile ad-hoc networks where wireless equipped element called on-board unit (OBU) in
vehicles form a network with the Roadside unit (RSU) without any additional infrastructure. In this paper, we are pri-
marily categorizing various possible applications of vehicular network, along with its features, and implementations in
the real world.
Keywords: Roadside Unit; WAVE; VSC; CAMP; VII
1. Introduction
As the vehicles are growing, the possibility of accidents
has also increased. According to the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) [1,4], there are
around 43000 deaths /year, 2.7 million people injured/
year and $230 billion social cost. It is required to make
our vehicles a bit intelligent so that we can reduce the
possibilities of accidents. A vehicular ad-hoc network
(VANET) adds ability in the vehicles. Dedicated Short
Range Communications (DSRC) and IEEE 802.11p
Wireless Access for Vehicular Environment (WAVE) [2,
3] have been approved as standards for PHY and MAC
layers for vehicular networks. The IEEE 802.11p WAVE
standardization process originates from the allocation of
the DSRC spectrum band of 5.9 GHz with a bandwidth
of 75 MHz and approximate range of 1000 m. The main
aim of DSRC and the IEEE 802.11p WAVE standard is
to define rules for low connection setup delay, fast net-
work recognition and the differentiation of applications
for normal and emergency use. They allow a high
throughput communication with low delay among vehi-
cles. This leads to efficient emergency communications.
For example, in the case of accidents, an alerting mes-
sage transmitted among vehicles can be faster and, thus,
well-timed, rather than communications sent through an
infrastructure network (such as cellular systems).
2. Characteristics of Vanets
Many different and sometimes competing design goals
have to be taken into account for VANETs to ensure
their commercial success. When equipped with WAVE
(Wireless Access for Vehicular Environment, a novel
type of wireless access dedicated to vehicle-to-vehicle
and vehicle-to-roadside communications), in Figure 1 it
forms a highly dynamic network.
Although, some characteristics of VANETs resembles
with the characteristics of MANETs [6, 8] but there are
specific features which can be categorized as follows:
1) Highl y dynamic to pology
The high speed of the vehicles along with the avail-
ability of choices of multiple paths defines the dynamic
topology of VANETs.
2) Frequent disco n ne ct ed network
The high speed of the vehicles in one way defines the
dynamic topology whereas on the other hand necessitates
the frequent requirements of the roadside unit lack of
which results a frequent disconnections.
Unit Traffic Signal -
Traffic Signal-
Figure 1. Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CN
3) Mobility modeling and Prediction
The prediction of vehicle position and their move-
ments is very difficult. This features of mobility model-
ing and prediction in VANETs is based on the availabil-
ity of predefined roadmaps models. The speed of the
vehicles is again an important for efficient network de-
4) Communication Environment
Once we are having a mobility model, yet we are not
done. As the mobility model may have different features
depending upon road architecture, highways, or city en-
vironments. Communicating in these situations has to be
taken care.
5) Hard delay con st rai nt s
At the time of emergency, delivery of messages on
time is a critical problem. Therefore, handle such situa-
tions rather talking only about high data rates in not suf-
6) Interaction with onboard sensors
Sensors are the mode of communications. Sensors can
read data related to velocity of the vehicle, direction and
can communicate to the data center. Thus sensors can be
used in link formation and in routing protocols.
7) Unlimited Battery Power and Storage
Nodes in VANETs do not suffer power and storage
limitation as in sensor networks; therefore optimizing
duty cycle is not as relevant as in sensor networks.
3. Applications of Vanets
The RSU can be treated as an access point or router or
even a buffer point which can stor e data and provide d ata
when needed [5]. All data on the RSUs are uploaded or
downloaded by vehicles. A classification of applications
is also done by [20] as Car to Car Traffic applications,
Car to Infrastructure applications, Car to Home applica-
tions and Routing based applications. The authors in [19]
discusses about the various attacks based on their classi-
fication. Based on the type of communication either V2I
or V2V, we are arranging the applications of VANETs
into following classes:
1) Safety oriented,
2) Commercial oriented
3) Convenience oriented and
4) Productive Applications
3.1. Safety Applications
Safety applications include monitoring of the surround-
ing road, approaching vehicles, surface of the road, road
curves etc. The Road safety applications can be classified
1) Real-time traffic: The real time traffic data can be
stored at the RSU and can be available to the vehicles
whenever and wherever needed. This can play an impor-
tant role in solving the problems such as traffic jams,
avoid congestions and in emergency alerts such as acci-
dents etc.
2) Co-operative Message Transfer: Slow/Stopped Ve-
hicle will exchange messages and co-op erate to help oth-
er vehicles. Though reliability and latency would be of
major concern, it may automate things like emergency
braking to avoid potential accidents. Similarly, emer-
gency electronic brake-light may be another application.
3) Post Crash Notification: A vehicle involved in an
accident would broadcast warning messages about its
position to trailing vehicles so that it can take decision
with time in hand as well as to the highway patrol for
tow away support as depicted in Figure 2.
4) Road Hazard Control Notification: Cars notifying
other cars about road having landslide or information
regarding road feature notification due to road curve,
sudden downhill etc.
5) Cooperative Collision Warning: Alerts two drivers
potentially under crash route so that they can mend their
ways [7].
6) Traffic Vigilance: The cameras can be installed at
the RSU that can work as input and act as the latest tool
in low or zero tolerance campaign against driving of-
fenses [9].
3.2. Commercial Applications
Commercial application s will provide the driver with the
entertainment and services as web access, streaming au-
dio and video. The Commercial applications can be clas-
sified as:
1) Remote Vehicle Personalization/ Diagnostics: It
helps in downloading of personalized vehicle settings or
uploading of vehicle diagnostics from/to infrastructure.
2) Internet Access: Vehicles can access internet
through RSU if RSU is working as a router.
Figure 2. Emergency situation Notification.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CN
3) Digital map downloading: Map of regions can be
downloaded by the drivers as per the requirement before
traveling to a new area for travel guidance. Also, Content
Map Database Download acts as a portal for getting val-
uable information from mobile hot spots or home sta-
4) Real Time Video Relay: On-demand movie experi-
ence will not be confined to the constraints of the home
and the driver can ask for real time video relay of his
favorite movies.
5) Value-added advertisement: This is especially for
the service providers, who want to attract customers to
their stores. Announcements like petrol pumps, highways
restaurants to announce their services to the drivers
within communication range. This application can be
available even in the absence of the Internet.
3.3. Convenience Applications
Convenience application mainly deals in traffic manage-
ment with a goal to enhance traffic efficiency by boosting
the degree of convenience for drivers. The Convenience
applications can be classified as:
1) Route Diversions: Route and trip planning can be
made in case of road cong estions.
2) Electronic Toll Collection: Payment of the toll can
be done electronically through a Toll Collection Point as
shown in Figure 3. A Toll collection Point shall be able
to read the OBU of the vehicle. OBUs work via GPS [17]
and the on-board odometer or techograph as a back-up to
determine how far the Lorries have travelled by reference
to a digital map and GSM to authorize the payment of the
toll via a wireless link. TOLL application is beneficial
not only to drivers but also to toll operators.
3) Parking Availability: Notifications regarding the
availability of parking in the metropolitan cities helps to
find the availability of slots in parking lots in a certain
geographical area.
4) Active Prediction: It anticipates the upcoming to-
pography of the road, which is expected to optimize fuel
usage by adjusting the cruising speed before starting a
descent or an ascent. Secondly, the driver is also assisted
Figure 3. Electronic Toll Collection in India.
3.4. Productive Applications
We are intentionally callin g it productive as this applica-
tion is additional with the above mentioned applications.
The Productive applications can be classified as:
1) Environmental Benefits: AERIS research program
[11] is to generate and acquire environmentally-relevant
real-time transportation data, and use these data to create
actionable information that support and facilitate “green”
transportation choices by transportation system users and
operators. Employing a multi-modal approach, the AE-
RIS program will work in partnership with the vehi-
cle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications research effort to
better define how connected vehicle data and applica-
tions might contribute to mitigating some of the negative
environmental impacts of surface transportation.
2) Time Utilization: If a traveler downloads his email,
he can transform jam traffic into a productive task and
read on-board system and read it himself if traffic stuck.
One can browse the Internet when someon e is waiting in
car for a relative or friend.
3) Fuel Saving: When the TOLL system application
for vehicle collects toll at the toll booths without stop-
ping the vehicles, the fuel around 3% is saved, which is
consumed when a vehicles as an average waits normally
for 2-5 mi n ut es.
4. Future
As mobiles are familiar and used by us in our day to day
life, similarly the future of VANETs is undoubtedly se-
cure. It has become the part of the government projects.
In India, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)
[12] is planning to replace manual toll collections at pla-
zas with electronic toll collection (ETC) systems across
the country. The ETC system will be based on radio fre-
quency identification (RFID), which will be comple-
mented by a wireless on-board unit (OBU) on a vehicle,
as well as a stationery roadside unit (RSU) at the toll
Australian police in New South Wales (NSW) and
Victoria are considering the introduction of a new type of
laser speed camera, which can catch drivers using mobile
phones, as well as speeding motorists from half a mile
away [13]. The cameras, known as Concept II, have been
manufactured by Tele-Traffic UK and are already in use
by UK's Dorset police as the latest tool in their zero tol-
erance campaign against driving offenses. Similarly,
various projects are running in various countries to em-
ploy VANETs i n traffi c safety and efficiency.
There are many other challenges left that will have a
strong influence on the future of VANETs. Although, to
show the impact of VANETs on traffic safety, and effi-
ciency, a number of simulators are available namely Es-
tiNet, ns-2, TRANS [14-16] and many more, but study of
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CN
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CN
driver’s behavior and reaction [18] when additional in-
formation is provided through VANETs is also a chal-
lenge. The adop tion of VANETs in the market is another
challenge as there are many players in the game.
5. Conclusions
In this paper, we first gave a description of architecture,
standards & protocols of vehicular ad hoc networks, fol-
lowed by the characteristics described in Section II. Sec-
tion III describes various applications based on its classi-
fication. Section IV is giving the implementation of ap-
plications at present and in future in countries that are
deploying VANETs in one way or the other. Although
the works are numerous, there are still issues which may
be untouched. However, we want to clarify that the list of
applications identified here is not exhaustive. We hope,
at least, the study in this paper would contribute in new
research d i r e c t ions.
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