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Smarter Cities With Parked Cars as Roadside Units

Reis, A.B. ; Sargento, S. ; Tonguz, O.

Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems Vol. PP, Nº 99, pp. 1 - 15, March, 2018.

ISSN (print): 1547-2450
ISSN (online):

Scimago Journal Ranking: 1,39 (in 2018)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/TITS.2018.2796845

Real-time monitoring of traffic density, road congestion, public transportation, and parking availability are key to realizing the vision of a smarter city and, with the advent of vehicular networking technologies, such as IEEE 802.11p and WAVE, this information can now be gathered directly from the vehicles in an urban area. To act as a backbone to the network of moving vehicles, collecting, aggregating, and disseminating their information, the use of parked cars has been proposed as an alternative to costly deployments of fixed roadside units. In this paper, we introduce novel mechanisms for parking vehicles to self-organize and form efficient vehicular support networks that provide widespread coverage to a city. These mechanisms are innovative in their ability to keep the network of parked cars under continuous optimization, in their multi-criteria decision process that can be focused on key network performance metrics, and in their ability to manage the battery usage of each car, rotating roadside unit roles between vehicles as required. We also present the first comprehensive study of the performance of such an approach, via realistic modeling of mobility, parking, and communication, through simulations, and an experimental verification of concepts that are key to self-organization. Our analysis brings strong evidence that parked cars can serve as an alternative to fixed roadside units, and organize to form networks that can support smarter transportation and mobility.