A feasibility study of a wi-fi-based vehicular ad hoc network in the Westfield Shopping Mall parking lot using field trial measurements and simulation
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Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks (VANETs) play an important role in reducing car accidents on the road as well as in the parking lots of large shopping malls. Providing connectivity as well exchanging warning messages among the vehicles in the parking areas could potentially reduce car accidents. An empirical study using radio propagation measurements to get an insight into the performance of a VANET system in the shopping mall environment is required to assist the efficient design and deployment of such systems. In this thesis, an empirical investigation using field trial measurements (i.e. propagation measurements) to study the performance of an IEEE 802.11n-based VANET in the parking lot of the West City Auckland shopping mall is described and its results are reported. In the investigation, received signal strength, packet send/receipt and response times were measured between two experimental vehicles equipped with 802.11n cards. Received signal strengths were found to have ranged from -45 dBm to -92 dBm in the parking lot. The distance coverage between two experimental vehicles where warning messages were sent successfully were up to 57 m, 17.5 m, 9.4 m, and 68 m at parking levels 1, 2, 3, and the roadside, respectively. Simulations were performed to generalize the measurement results. This thesis also investigates a closest match between the propagation models and measurements. Finally, the thesis provides guidelines for network planners for the deployment of 802.11-based VANET in the parking lot of a large shopping mall.