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Coupling the high data rates of IEEE 802.11p-based VANETs and the wide coverage area of 3GPP networks (e.g., UMTS), this paper envisions a VANET-UMTS integrated network architecture. In this architecture, vehicles are dynamically clustered according to different related metrics. From these clusters, a minimum number of vehicles, equipped with IEEE 802.11p and UTRAN interfaces, are selected as vehicular gateways to link VANET to UMTS. Issues pertaining to gateway selection, gateway advertisement and discovery, service migration between gateways (i.e., when serving gateways lose their optimality) are all addressed and an adaptive mobile gateway management mechanism is proposed. Simulations are carried out using NS2 to evaluate the performance of the envisioned architecture incorporating the proposed mechanisms. Encouraging results are obtained in terms of high data packet delivery ratios and throughput, reduced control packet overhead, and minimized delay and packet drop rates.
Date of Publication: March 2011