Falko Dressler, University of Paderborn, Germany

Smart Cities and Vehicular Area Networks

Cities around the world are currently under quick transition towards a low carbon environ-ment, high quality of living, and resource efficient economy. Information and communica-tion systems play a critical role in building smart cities and supporting comprehensive urban informatics. Extensive research is taking place on a wide range of enabling information and communication technologies, including cloud and network infrastructure, wireless and sens-ing technologies, mobile crowdsourcing, social networking, and big data analytics for smart cities. Looking back at the last decade, one can observe enormous progress in the domain of vehicular networking. In this growing community, many ongoing activities focus on the de-sign of communication protocols to support safety applications, intelligent navigation, multi-player gaming and others – and we are now entering an era that might change the game in road traffic management. We will primarily discuss the challenges and opportunities of the connected cars vision in relation to some of the most needed components in modern smart cities: improved road traffic safety combined with reduced travel times and emissions. Using selected application examples including the use of virtual traffic lights, intelligent intersec-tion management, and platooning, we assess the needs on the underlying system compo-nents with a particular focus on inter-vehicle communication. We also shed light on the po-tentials of a vehicular cloud based on parked vehicles as a spatio-temporal network and storage infrastructure. Vehicular networking solutions have been investigated for more than a decade but recent standardization efforts just enable a broad use of this technology to build large scale Intelligent Transportation Systems. One of the key questions is whether some pre-deployed infrastructure is needed to enable and to boost vehicular networks. We see many benefits in such infrastructure to store information and to provide connectivity among the vehicles. Yet, instead of using Roadside Units (RSUs), we envision to rely on parked vehicles to provide such vehicular cloud services.

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