Abstract—Multi-hop propagation of situational information is a promising technique for improving beaconing performance and increasing the degree of situational awareness onboard vehicles. A possible way of achieving this is by piggyback information on the beacon packets that are sent periodically by each vehicle in the network, as prescribed by the DSRC and ETSI standards. However, prescribed limitations on beacon size imply that only information about a very small number of surrounding vehicles can be piggybacked in a beacon packet. In most traffic situations, this number is well below the typical number of vehicles within transmission range, implying that multi-hop forwarding strategies must be devised to select which neighboring vehicle’s information to include in a transmitted beacon. In this paper, we designed different multi-hop forwarding strategies, and assessed their effectiveness in delivering fresh situational information to surrounding vehicles. Effectiveness is estimated in terms of both information age and probability of experiencing a potentially dangerous situational-awareness blackout. Both metrics are estimated as a function of the hop distance from the transmitting vehicle, and in presence of different level of radio channel congestion. The investigation is based on extensive simulations whose multi-hop communication performance is corroborated by real-world measurements. The results show that network-coding based strategies substantially improve forwarding performance as compared to a randomized strategy, reducing the average information age of up to 60%, and the blackout probability of up to two orders of magnitude.
We also consider the effect of multi-hop propagation of situational information on the reliability of a forward collision warning application, and show that network-coding based propagation yields a factor three improvement of reliability with respect to a
randomized forwarding strategy, and even higher improvements with respect to the case of no propagation.