Using mobile vehicles as “data mules” to collect data generated by a huge number of sensing devices that are widely spread across smart city is considered to be an economical and effective way of obtaining data about smart cities. However, currently most research focuses on the feasibility of the proposed methods instead of their final performance. In this paper, a latency and coverage optimized data collection (LCODC) scheme is proposed to collect data on smart cities through opportunistic routing. Compared with other schemes, the efficiency of data collection is improved since the data flow in LCODC scheme consists of not only vehicle to device transmission (V2D), but also vehicle to vehicle transmission (V2V). Besides, through data mining on patterns hidden in the smart city, waste and redundancy in the utilization of public resources are mitigated, leading to the easy implementation of our scheme. In detail, no extra supporting device is needed in the LCODC scheme to facilitate data transmission. A large-scale and real-world dataset on Beijing is used to evaluate the LCODC scheme. Results indicate that with very limited costs, the LCODC scheme enables the average latency to decrease from several hours to around 12 min with respect to schemes where V2V transmission is disabled while the coverage rate is able to reach over 30%.
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