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In this paper, initial simulations are presented showing that the upcoming IEEE 802.11p standard is not suitable for traffic safety applications requiring reliable, low-delay communication between vehicles. The medium access control procedure is one of the most important parts in the design of delay-constrained communication systems, and emerging vehicle safety applications put new stringent demands on timely and reliable delivery of data packets. The medium access procedure used in 802.11p is carrier sense multiple access, which is inherently unsuitable for time-critical data traffic since it is contention-based and cannot provide a finite upper bound on the time to channel access.
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