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This paper reviews a range of problems in the road transport field, and the potential role of the Vehicular Ad hoc NETwork system (VANETs) in helping to solve them. In reality, the communications requirements vary widely from one application to the next, in terms of range, latency, and connectivity together with vehicle and roadside hardware. Applications that promise the greatest safety benefits will require relatively high market penetration together with governmental support. Much will therefore depend on the order in which successive applications are brought to market. Communications protocols that can easily be extended to take on more demanding applications at a later stage, and compatibility with existing systems such as electronic toll collection, will be important.
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