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Cabernet: Vehicular Content Delivery Using WiFi

By Jakob Eriksson, Hari Balakrishnan and Samuel Madden


Cabernet is a system for delivering data to and from moving vehicles using open 802.11 (WiFi) access points encountered opportunistically during travel. Using open WiFi access from the road can be challenging. Network connectivity in Cabernet is both fleeting (access points are typically within range for a few seconds) and intermittent (because the access points do not provide continuous coverage), and suffers from high packet loss rates over the wireless channel. On the positive side, WiFi data transfers, when available, can occur at broadband speeds. In this paper, we introduce two new components for improving open WiFi data delivery to moving vehicles: The first, QuickWiFi, is a streamlined client-side process to establish end-to-end connectivity, reducing mean connection time to less than 400 ms, from over 10 seconds when using standard wireless networking software. The second part, CTP, is a transport protocol that distinguishes congestion on the wired portion of the path from losses over the wireless link, resulting in a 2 × throughput improvement over TCP. To characterize the amount of open WiFi capacity available to vehicular users, we deployed Cabernet on a fleet of 10 taxis in the Boston area. The long-term average transfer rate achieved was approximately 38 Mbytes/hour per car (86 kbit/s), making Cabernet a viable system for a number of non-interactive applications

Topics: C.2.1- Wireless communication General Terms Design, Experimentation, Measurement Keywords Vehicular networks, vehicle-to-infrastructure, open WiFi access
Year: 2008
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