Timely and reliable inter-vehicle communications is a critical requirement to support traffic safety applications, such as vehicle platooning. Furthermore, low-delay communications allow the platoon to react quickly to unexpected events. In this scope, having a predictable and highly effective medium access control (MAC) method is of utmost importance. However, the currently available IEEE 802.11p technology is unable to adequately address these challenges. In this paper, we propose a MAC method especially adapted to platoons, able to transmit beacons within the required time constraints, but with a higher reliability level than IEEE 802.11p, while concurrently enabling efficient dissemination of event-driven messages. The protocol circulates the token within the platoon not in a round-robin fashion, but based on beacon data age, i.e., the time that has passed since the previous collection of status information, thereby automatically offering repeated beacon transmission opportunities for increased reliability. In addition, we propose three different methods for supporting event-driven messages co-existing with beacons. Analysis and simulation results in single and multi-hop scenarios showed that, by providing non-competitive channel access and frequent retransmission opportunities, our protocol can offer beacon delivery within one beacon generation interval while fulfilling the requirements on low-delay dissemination of event-driven messages for traffic safety applications.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited