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In vehicular ad hoc network (VANET) safety applications, the source vehicle that detects an accident can generate a warning message and propagate it to the following vehicles to notify other drivers before they reach the potential danger zone on the road. Recent studies have shown that sparse vehicle traffic leads to network fragmentation, which poses a crucial research challenge for safety applications. In this paper, we analyze and quantify the improvement in VANET connectivity when a limited number of roadside units (RSUs) are deployed and to investigate the routing performance for broadcast-based safety applications in this enhanced VANET environment. Our results show that, even with a small number of RSUs, the performance in terms of the probability of network connectivity, the rehealing delay, the number of rehealing hops, and the message penetration time can be significantly improved in highway VANET scenarios.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2011