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Deploying Roadside Units in Sparse Vehicular Networks: What Really Works and What Does Not

Reis, A.B. ; Sargento, S. ; Neves, F.N. ; Tonguz, O.

IEEE Trans. on Vehicular Technology Vol. 63, Nº 6, pp. 2794 - 2806, July, 2014.

ISSN (print): 0018-9545
ISSN (online): 0018-9545

Journal Impact Factor: 1,978 (in 2014)

Digital Object Identifier:


The 802.11p/WAVE standard relies on the presence of onboard units (OBUs) and roadside units (RSUs) for communications in vehicular networks. In this paper, we study the benefits of deploying RSUs to improve communications in highway scenarios. We develop an analytical model to analyze communication delay in a highway scenario with bidirectional traffic, considering both connected and disconnected RSUs, and validate our model via simulations and experimental measurements with 802.11p equipment. Contrary to conventional wisdom, our results show that significant benefits of RSUs in terms of connectivity and message dissemination can only be achieved when the deployed RSUs are interconnected. Conversely, deploying a large number of disconnected RSUs will lead to little or no benefit in message dissemination delay.