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Case Study
WiFi Mesh for Future vehicles

Has your car driven you home lately?

The ever-growing number of cars on our roads creates numerous traffic-related problems for society. Fortunately, technology is coming to the rescue and Wi-Fi based wireless mesh networks are a crucial piece of the equasion.

Safety is a huge concern. The need to keep traffic flowing more smoothly not only contributes to greater energy efficiency and cuts down on pollution, but more importantly, improves road safety.

Wireless Lan with "mesh" intelligence is an important innovation that can improve safety on the highways and save human lives.

Several vehicles can communicate directly with one another and over hundreds or thousands of feet to a wireless node. In the above picture, the white car coordinates an overtaking maneuver with the three vehicles in the right-hand lane (above). The braking signal of the white car is automatically transmitted to the red car, despite the fact that his view is obstructed by two trucks (below).

Vehicles equiped with the appropriate gear will gather traffic-related data like speed, location, and direction of travel, weather conditions and related vehicle information, such as windshield-wiper and headlight use, outside temperature, and traction-control-system data. which can be stored locally in the vehicle and sent in real-time over the wireless mesh network to a central monitoring station.

The data will be wirelessly transmitted to the state Condition Acquisition Reporting System (CARS) where analysts can use the information to create weather and traffic advisories. The advisories can then be available on highway message signs, via special phone numbers and web sites.

In addition to on-board Wi-Fi, some dealers and auto manufactures optionally offer built-in GPS which collects data, weather and road condition info. With the use of these sensors, the department of transportation may choose to deploy municipal resources as needed. For example, the dispatching of emergency-response teams or road-side maintenance crews.

While this is still a work-in-progress, the department of transportation is taking advantage of all reasonable means to prevent crashes and reduce the deaths on our highways with the goal of treating roads as an extension of vehicles, using both design and technology to help prevent crashes and make driving safer.

Today's high-tech new vehicles have up to 200 sensors that measure everything from engine processes to outside air temperature. "Intelligent vehicle" advocates seek to capitalize on that information and use it to more efficiently and safely manage transportation systems. and the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHA) is exploring vehicle-to-roadside and vehicle-to-vehicle communications.

This application of wireless mesh networks is ideal for automatic proximity cruise control, forward collision warnings, and collision avoidance warnings at intersections. In addition, the system could also warn drivers about approaching emergency vehicles.


The network is suitable for communication between a vehicle and infrastructure facilities. A mobile transmitter could warn about a construction site just around the curve (left). An emergency service vehicle could switch its own traffic light to green, while ensuring that ohter intersection users see a red light (right).

But how far can you go with this type of capability? U.S. Federal Aviation Administration uses this type of information to give directions to pilots to avoid possible threats. For automobiles, accidents could be avoided with intelligent accident avoidance system. Cars could detect other vehicles not heeding a red light. If a car slips on ice, intelligent systems could not only inform other drivers but send a notice through the receivers alongside the highways to road crews that salt or sand is needed. Such systems could even be programmed to stop cars before an accident occurs — without driver involvement. It's would even be possible to remotely monitor someones health condition before and/or after an accident.

The need for intelligent vehicles is real. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that driver error or inattention caused 20 to 30 percent of the 6.3 million accidents reported in 2000. Most are preventable and the personal cost is high with over 40,000 deaths are reported per year, with millions more injured. Costs to the U.S. economy are estimated at 200 to 300 billion dollars.

In this application scenario, a vehicle could automatically transmit its individual performance data to a service center for diagnosis. If necessary, the service center could then advise the driver to proceed to a workshop, or even transmit updated software for engine adjustment or the electronic stability program.


Using this wireless radio signals to a conversion station, the nodes transfer can transfer the data over multiple miles to other wireless nodes while performing fast-roaming with sub-second latency handoffs ehich means that communication continues, unbroken. That way vehicle data can be transmitted to a service center for a remote diagnosis (left), tourist information and tips could be received (right).

To achieve Vehicle-to-vehicle communication, auto manufactures must make efforts to include WiFi and related technologies into automobiles while roadways are deployed with wireless mesh network equipment that can provide the sustained throughput and low latencies required to handle thousands of transactions per second with vehicles moving at speeds up to 80 MPH or exceeding.


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