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Providing wireless networking to vehicles has been identified as a near-term goal by the automotive industry in the support of basic Internet access as well as an enabler to a variety of safety enhancement applications. Network connectivity to on-board computers can be provided via existing mobile telephony; however, these systems rely on both expensive infrastructure (cell towers) and a strongly hierarchical and high-latency network model. In contrast, a short-range, multi-hop mode of communication can exploit the localization of information generation/consumption of vehicular data applications, and the need for low-latency in safety ones. In practice, both models have their merits and the authors seek to understand the best mix of fixed roadside infrastructure ("Access points") and use of multi-hop connectivity.
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