The worldwide economic cost of road crashes and injuries is estimated to be US$518 billion per year and the annual congestion cost in France is estimated to be €5.9 billion. Vehicular Ad hoc Networks (VANETs) are one solution to improve transport features such as traffic safety, traffic jam and infotainment on wheels, where a great number of event-driven messages need to be disseminated in a timely way in a region of interest. In comparison with traditional wireless networks, VANETs have to consider the highly dynamic network topology and lossy links due to node mobility. Inter-Vehicle Communication (IVC) protocols are the keystone of VANETs. According to our survey, most of the proposed IVC protocols focus on either highway or urban scenarios, but not on both. Furthermore, too few protocols, considering both scenarios, can achieve high performance. In this paper, an infrastructure-less Traffic Adaptive data Dissemination (TrAD) protocol which takes into account road traffic and network traffic status for both highway and urban scenarios will be presented. TrAD has double broadcast suppression techniques and is designed to adapt efficiently to the irregular road topology. The performance of the TrAD protocol was evaluated quantitatively by means of realistic simulations taking into account different real road maps, traffic routes and vehicular densities. The obtained simulation results show that TrAD is more efficient in terms of packet delivery ratio, number of transmissions and delay in comparison with the performance of three well-known reference protocols. Moreover, TrAD can also tolerate a reasonable degree of GPS drift and still achieve efficient data dissemination.
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