Using ad hoc wireless networks to enable intelligent transport systems: the design and analysis of the TH(O)RP routing protocol

Morrison, Daniel Weich (2007-03)

Thesis (MScEng (Electrical and Electronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.


With the rapid advancement of communication technologies and broadband communication, an era is starting to emerge where everything and everyone is always connected, regardless of geography. No other technology has made this more possible than over-the-air data communications technologies such as Wi-Fi, WiMAX and cellular technologies. With the possibility of connecting more devices to a common communications network, more and more applications become available and necessary. One such application is a concept designed to manage a different type of network; the traffic networks of large metropolitan areas. These networks carry more traffic with each passing year and the need to manage them fficiently has become essential. A system to manage traffic networks is an intelligent transport system (ITS), which integrates all methods of transportation into a single manageable resource. Information about the current status of the traffic network can be relayed to road users, allowing them to make informed decisions about alternative routes, or to emergency personnel to inform them of accidents that occurred on the traffic networks. In order to implement an ITS, a communication network is required. This thesis investigates different communication technologies, discussing their merits and shortcomings in an ITS implementation. A suitable technology is selected and a communications system is conceptualised. The communications system is an ad hoc wireless network and a routing protocol used to manage the network, is designed and tested through simulation. The TH(O)RP routing protocol was developed with a focus on scalability, stability and low latency in an ad hoc network. TH(O)RP was designed to operate in an ITS environment, where traffic intersection controllers (TIC) are monitored from a central entity, with optimal routes between the central entity and the TICs, that can be automatically configured and repaired.

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