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Inter-vehicle communication (IVC) and its diverse application possibilities are experiencing growing interest both in research and industry. The dissemination of active safety messages generated by context-sensitive applications in Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks (VANETs) promises to improve passenger safety and comfort. A key challenge in such a scenario is to design an efficient broadcast protocol that can quickly disseminate the safety messages. This paper introduces the applications, characteristics and challenges of transmission control of VANETs. We present the classification standards for wireless transmission broadcast protocols applied to VANETs. The advantages and disadvantages of various classes of broadcast protocols are discussed with analysis and comparison, which can help to design the reliable and efficient transmission protocol.