Evaluation of Routing Protocols for Vehicular Ad hoc Networks (VANETs) in Connected Transportation Systems

While the design of an efficient and reliable routing protocol is central to vehicular ad hoc networks (VANET) performance, this is a challenging task because of rapidly changing topology, frequent disconnection, patterned mobility and involved propagation streams. In addition, routing protocol performance varies substantially depending on the density and mobility present in the network, as well as the topography of the test site (e.g., presence of high-rise buildings and trees) and the radio parameters (e.g., carrier frequency, transmission power, and bandwidth). There are three main objectives in protocol design: reliable packet transmission with minimum delay, maximum throughput, and low communication overhead. Most existing routing protocols address only one or two of these objectives. In this project, the research team proposes the use of hybrid techniques (of existing routing protocols) to simultaneously address all three objectives. The research team will then evaluate the existing and hybrid routing protocols using two areas as test beds: the Austin downtown area (high vehicular traffic with multiple intersections and the presence of high rise buildings) and a stretch of I-35 outside Austin city limits (low to medium traffic density with high vehicular mobility). Note that, due to safety and financial considerations, the project team will not actually test the many routing protocols directly in the field, but rather simulate the two test beds in open source VANET simulators.