Vehicle-­to-Vehicle Communications in Mixed Passenger-Freight Convoys

Project Number


Project Summary

Vehicle convoys (platoons) hold a promise for significant efficiency improvements of freight and passenger transportation through better system integration. Through the use of advanced driver assistance, vehicles in a convoy can keep shorter distances from each other, thus decreasing energy consumption and traffic jams. However, reliable and low-latency communications are a vital prerequisite for such systems. The standard for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) wireless communications is IEEE 802.11p, and its performance for communication between passenger cars has been wisely explored. However, there are hardly an results about the performance of such systems when both trucks and passenger cars are present. To remedy this situation, we propose in this project to first perform extensive measurements of the propagation channel (pathloss and dispersion) between cars and trucks, and between cars whose connection is blocked by trucks. We then will use these data as the input of a system simulator, which will tell us not only the probability of successful communication between vehicles, but also analyze robust methods such as multi-hop to resolve the situations where direct communications are not successful.

Project Status


Project Brief



Topic Area

Integrated Freight and Passenger Systems

P.I. Name & Address

Professor, Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering; USC Viterbi School of Engineering
University of Southern California
3740 McClintock Avenue
Hughes Aircraft Electrical Engineering Building (EEB) 500
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2565
United States

Funding Source


Total Project Cost


Agency ID or Contract Number

Grant No: 65A0533

Start and End Dates

1/1/2015 to 12/31/2015


Describe Implementation of Research Outcomes (or why not implemented)

Implementation outcomes: A database of measured propagation channel characteristics will be made freely available to the METRANS partners, including the descriptions of the measurement environments, the types of vehicles and their antenna arrangements, distances between the vehicles, received powers over time and impulse responses.

A channel model will be coded and completely parameterized based on the measured data. A simulator will be created, taking into account both the PHY and the MAC structure of 802.11p compliant transmissions. Finally, the performance of an 802.11p system over realistic channels will be provided, in terms of packet failure rates and packet latency.

Research outcomes: The simulation of IEEE 802.11p compliant system performance in vehicular environments will be of significant interest for designers of convoy controls and policymakers, since they allow to assess the technical limits of convoy travel. It will also constitute an important input for the design of convoy policies, enhanced automated driver assistance, and even self-driving cars.