Meireles R., Boban M., Steenkiste P., Tonguz O., Barros J.

2010 IEEE Vehicular Networking Conference, VNC 2010

pp 338



Channel models for vehicular networks typically disregard the effect of vehicles as physical obstructions for the wireless signal. We aim to clarify the validity of this simplification by quantifying the impact of obstructions through a series of wireless experiments. Using two cars equipped with Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) hardware designed for vehicular use, we perform experimental measurements in order to collect received signal power and packet delivery ratio information in a multitude of relevant scenarios: parking lot, highway, suburban and urban canyon. Upon separating the data into line of sight (LOS) and non-line of sight (NLOS) categories, our results show that obstructing vehicles cause significant impact on the channel quality. A single obstacle can cause a drop of over 20 dB in received signal strength when two cars communicate at a distance of 10 m. At longer distances, NLOS conditions affect the usable communication range, effectively halving the distance at which communication can be achieved with 90% chance of success. The presented results motivate the inclusion of vehicles in the radio propagation models used for VANET simulation in order to increase the level of realism.