Information Technology Reference
In-Depth Information
Chapter 10
Vehicular Sensor Networks: General Aspects
and Implementation Issues
Vladimir Atanasovski and Liljana Gavrilovska
The usage of sensors and sensor networks to sense road and vehicle phenomena and
send sensor data to relevant entities (e.g., users, institutions etc.) gives rise to the
concept of Vehicular Sensor Networks ( VSNs ). VSNs are a subset of Vehicular
Ad-hoc NETworks (VANETs) placed either in vehicles or alongside roads creating
an end-to-end reliable network for disseminating sensor data gathered from a
vehicular environment. Depending on the communication path, VSNs encompass
Vehicle-to-Infrastructure or Infrastructure-to-Vehicle (V2I and I2V, respectively)
architectures and Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) architecture. The former deals with
communication between sensors from a vehicular environment and specific Road
Side Units (RSUs) or external gateways, whereas the latter one defines the com-
munication among sensors in a vehicular environment in a pure ad hoc, i.e., infra-
structureless, fashion. The VSNs have been widely investigated and proved to be
very useful for supporting car and road safety, traffic pattern analysis, road surface
diagnosis, urban environmental monitoring, street-level air pollution monitoring,
and many other transportation application systems. Their increasing popularity
emphasizes the need for thorough analysis of their most relevant features in order
to pave the way toward VSNs' full practical deployment.
VSNs can be, generally speaking, also regarded as Wireless Sensor Networks
(WSNs) with some notable differences [ 1 ]. First and foremost, power consump-
tion is not a critical issue due to the vehicles' battery that can produce large
enough amounts of energy at a relatively low cost. However, a specific problem
that arises due to the vehicular environment is the VSNs' dynamic topology . The
dynamic topology, caused by the mobility of nodes, creates a new set of chal-
lenges that need to be resolved. Furthermore, a fully functional VSN needs to
work properly under various traffic conditions (i.e., high and low traffic density)
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