Open Access Research

Vehicular ad hoc networking based on the incorporation of geographical information in the IPv6 header

Wim Vandenberghe1*, Erwin Van de Velde2, Chris Blondia2, Ingrid Moerman1 and Piet Demeester1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Information Technology (INTEC), Ghent University, Ghent, IBBT, Belgium

2 Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, IBBT, Belgium

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EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking 2012, 2012:316  doi:10.1186/1687-1499-2012-316

Published: 19 October 2012


Several approaches can be identified in the domain of vehicular ad hoc networks (VANET). Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) networking and non-IP geographical networking can each fulfill a subset of the application requirements. In general, a combination of both techniques is proposed to meet all of the application requirements. In this case, packets of one VANET routing protocol are encapsulated inside packets of another. This tunneling, together with the position service required for non-IP geographical unicasting, makes such a combined solution rather complex, and hence more challenging to implement, debug, and maintain. In this article, a new VANET approach is presented that relies on the key assumptions that geo-anycast functionality is not required by the applications, and that geographic unicasting is not needed when IP-based unicasting is provided. This enables the adoption of an IPv6-only VANET solution, removing the need for tunneling and position services. New techniques are required to support IPv6-based geo-broadcasting. In this article, it is described how addresses should be assigned, how geographical data can be incorporated in the IPv6 address, how the other IPv6 header fields can be used to contain additional VANET information, and how routing should be handled to guarantee that no modifications are required to the application units. The implementation of the proposed techniques is described, and the correct functionality of the solutions is experimentally demonstrated. Finally, to prove the added value compared to current state-of-the-art propositions, the presented solution is stacked up against the recently released ETSI standards TS 102 636-4-1 (geographical addressing and forwarding) and TS 102 636-6-1 (transmission of IPv6 packets over GeoNetworking protocols).

Vehicular ad hoc networks; VANET; IPv6; Geographical networking