The Theory of Vehicular Ad-Hoc Network

With the Internet becoming an increasingly significant part of our lives, the dream of a WiFi-enabled city is becoming closer and closer to reality. One of the hindrances to that dream, however, is the high router requirement; for wireless internet to blanket a city, thousands of wireless routers must be strategically placed to ensure constant coverage. Since this is a process that can become quite complicated and costly, researchers at UCLA began looking for an existing technology to which routers could be attached or involved. Since Los Angeles is a city already plagued with traffic problems, the UCLA Vehicular Network Lab was established to study the possibility of wirelessly connected automobiles.
The Vehicular Ad-Hoc Network, or VANET, is a technology that uses moves cars as nodes in a network to create a mobile network. VANET turns every participating car into a wireless router or node, allowing cars approximately 100 to 300 metres of each other to connect and, in turn, create a network with a wide range. As cars fall out of the signal range and drop out of the network, other cars can join in, connecting vehicles to one another so that a mobile Internet is created. It is estimated that the first systems that will integrate this technology are police and fire vehicles to communicate with each other for safety purposes.
Some related video links (could not be embedded due to copyright reasons):
http://www.vehicularlab.org/video/BigBro.wmv 
An emulation of a terrorist detection system using VANET. Police cars, provided with threat-detection sensors (e.g. for threats such as chemicals, radiation, etc.) can communicate and collaborate to neutralize the situation.
http://www.vehicularlab.org/video/Mobility_Comparison.mov 
A computer simulation of communication protocols and algorithms based very accurate vehicular traffic mobility traces. From the UCLA labs so it is quite technical.

ORGANIZATIONAL USES: THE PROS 
VANET offers countless benefits to organizations of any size. Automobile high speed Internet access would transform the vehicle’s on-board computer from a nifty gadget to an essential productivity tool, making virtually any web technology available in the car. While such a network does pose certain safety concerns (for example, one cannot safely type an email while driving), this does not limit VANET’s potential as a productivity tool. It allows for “dead time”—time that is being wasted while waiting for something—to be transformed into “live time”—time that is being used to accomplish tasks. A commuter can turn a traffic jam into a productive work time by having his email downloaded and read to him by the on-board computer, or if traffic slows to a halt, read it himself. While waiting in the car to pick up a friend or relative, one can surf the Internet. Even GPS systems can benefit, as they can integrated with traffic reports to provide the fastest route to work. Lastly, it would allow for free, VoIP services such as GoogleTalk or Skype between employees, lowering telecommunications costs.

ORGANIZATIONAL USES: THE CONS 
While the Internet can be a useful productivity tool, it can also prove to be quite distracting, resulting in safety and actually time-wasting concerns. Like cellular phones, the Internet can be tempting and can distract users from the road. Checking emails, surfing the web or even watching YouTube videos can engross drivers and lead to accidents.
Similarly, while drivers may have the opportunity to do work while on the road, they also may use this opportunity to engage in other leisurely tasks, such as VoIP with family, watch news highlights or listen to podcasts.

THE FINAL WORD 
While still years away, VANET is a technology that could significantly increase productivity during times that are usually unproductive. However, to achieve this, VANET users must first overcome the leisurely temptations and distractions that the Internet provides.

REFERENCES:
Piquepaille, Roland. “Turning Cars into Wireless Network Nodes.” ZDNet
Tech 3 Jun. 2007. 30 Sep. 2007
Available at: <http://blogs.zdnet.com/emergingtech/?p=593>.
Vehicular Network Lab @ UCLA – Implementing the First Campus
Vehicular Testbed. Vehicular Lab. 30 Sep. 2007
Available at: <http://www.vehicularlab.org/>.
McCloskey, Paul. “UC Profs as Car Traffic as Basis of Mobile Internet.”
Campus Technology 4 Jun. 2007. 30 Sep. 2007
Available at: <http://www.campustechnology.com/article.aspx?aid=48374>
“The Mobile Internet: Your Car Could Save a Life.” medGadget 29 May
2007. 30 Sep. 2007
Available at: <http://www.medgadget.com/archives/2007/05/the_mobile_internet_cars_firetrucks_ambulances_oh_my.html>.
 
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