An ad-hoc vehicular network (VANET), is a type of communication network that uses vehicles as nodes of the network. Given the limited range of the communication channel (up to 1 km), connectivity is established sporadically (ad-hoc).For this reason, these networks are considered a specific type of mobile communication network. However, these types of networks have a number of specific challenges associated with them, such as the high volatility of the networks, the speed of the communicating nodes and the concentration of the nodes in an area.
Vehicular communication environments are located two different entities, vehicles and communications infrastructure. The vehicles are equipped with an on-board communications unit (commonly referred to as OBU). For its part, the communications infrastructure can be formed either through satellite communications, or through poles located along the roads (commonly known as RSU, from the English Road-Side Unit). Different communication paradigms can be produced between these entities, the most relevant being vehicle-to-infrastructure (known as V2I or V2R), infrastructure-to-vehicle (I2V or R2V) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V).
Infrastructure communication environment includes service providers accessed through this network, as well as other ancillary management entities (such as certification authorities, traffic management authorities, etc.). These entities can establish connection with vehicles through the communications infrastructure of the vehicular communication environment.
Applications of Vehicular Ad-Hoc Network
The usefulness of this type of network lies in the provision of a series of new services that have been collectively called Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). Thanks to SITs, vehicles have more and better information about traffic conditions, and can access services and data that improve travel comfort for passengers (such as VoIP, video on demand, etc.). In addition, rich location information is possible, so GPS-based navigation systems can improve their efficiency.
In addition to the improvement of driving and transport as it is currently known, this type of network opens the door to innovative mechanisms that aim to simplify the task of driving and increase road safety. Thus, through these networks it is possible for the vehicle to offer assistance to the driver or even for automatic driving to be achieved. In this sense, an application that will be implemented at the beginning of the implementation of these networks will be the eCall, by which a vehicle will warn of the occurrence of an accident and notify the corresponding emergency systems.
One of the crucial issues in this type of network is the assurance of information and the protection of privacy. If a vehicle uses the same electronic identification for a period of time, it would allow a third party with access to all the messages exchanged to reconstruct the path followed by the vehicle. Since there is usually a strong relationship between a vehicle and its driver, this would cause an injury to the driver’s privacy. Since information exchanged on a vehicle network can have an effect on road safety, it is necessary to ensure that such data are authentic and accurately reflect reality. In line with the above need, it is necessary to ensure that the data has not been manipulated since it was issued by its original creator.