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What is Dedicated short-range communication (DSRC)?

Dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) is a short-range wireless communication protocol. It originates from the IEEE 802.11p standard and is used for vehicle communications such as vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) for connected vehicle applications. DSRC has the ability to create safer driving conditions by offering an early warning of road risks. According to the presented regulation from the US Department of Transportation (DOT), all light automobiles produced in the United States have to incorporate DSRC from 2020 onward. Several countries like Japan, Australia, the United States, and Europe are currently deploying DSRC. Nonetheless, it is anticipated to have more deployments as several automakers including Volkswagen, Toyota, and GM have pledged to incorporate IEEE 802.11p equipment into their vehicles from 2019. DSRC can transfer data at about 6-27 MB per second (Mbps) in the range of 1,000 meters, with a latency of below 5 milliseconds and optimum jitter. DSRC depends on communication devices installed in vehicles, which can lead to bi-directional communication; but the government provides a backup for most DSRCs and no telecommunication provider supports DSRC at this time (Zeadally et al., 2020).

There are two types of facilities in the DSRC system: an Onboard Unit (OBU) and a Roadside Unit (RSU). The OBU is a DSRC receiver, generally installed internally in the car, and in some cases can be a portable device. The OBU operates when a vehicle or pedestrian is either moving or static. OBU receives and relays signals on one or more channels by accessing the conflicting channel. In contrast, the RSU is a communication component that is commonly stable to the gantry in a private or public place. The RSU can also be fixed on a car or handheld device, but only works in static mode. RSU transmits or exchanges information with the OBU in its communication range (Fang et al., 2017).

The dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) system overview with roadside equipment (RSE) fitted at the toll gate, battery-operated on-board unit (OBU) fixed inside the vehicle, and a 5.8 GHz DSRC radio link as a communication channel.

DSRC has many potential applications for mobility, including traffic congestion reduction, efficient planning, electronic toll collection (ETC), and data collection. A wide range of industrial and commercial markets are inclined to exploit this technology due to its versatility. For example, the DSRC system can lead to public safety improvements by providing several abilities such as blind-spot warning, forward collision alerts, sudden deceleration ahead warning, overtake prevention warning, intersection collision avoidance, emergency vehicle notification, and others (Industry ARC, n.d.). On the other hand, like other wireless systems, DSRCs are prone to failure and uncertainty. To the best of our knowledge, research projects have not yet experimentally obtained the communication limits or the total communication period of two approaching vehicles from opposite directions on motorways. Policymakers and system developers require this information since it delineates the maximum data-sharing time between two vehicles before leaving the communication area (Hoque et al., 2020).

Some of the leading companies for DSRC in the market include Kapsch Group, Cohda Wireless Pty Ltd, Savari, Inc., Arada Systems, Q-free ASA, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Oki Electric Industry Co. Ltd, Norbit Group AS, Continental AG, and Autotalks Ltd. In 2016, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) granted $ 556 million to the NCS consortium, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engine System, to make the next generation electronic congestion pricing mechanism. Also in 2018, the Singapore LTA has started testing Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) with DSRC. This system can be deployed along the motorways and can calculate fares without the requirement of expensive infrastructures. Moreover, Autotalks and Israeli startup Griiip are researching how to achieve Vehicle to Everything (V2X) and V2V communication chipsets in car racing. These corporations have recently worked on a single-seater racing car, with Autotalks CRATON2 chipsets designed to remove fatalities in professional racing. For example, if a driver is about to lose control of his racing car or arrive in a risky zone, the communication system automatically detects and warns him of the danger. Furthermore, Savari has provided 11 intersections and traffic signals in Palo Alto with roadside elements helping vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists, as well as visually impaired people to communicate with traffic signals. The main goal is to improve safety in conjunction with the traffic flow prediction when making the transportation network ready for the deployment of AVs (Industry ARC, n.d.).

The IEEE Task Group 802.11bd (TGbd) was organized in 2019 out of the IEEE 802.11 Next Generation V2X Study Group. The goal of TGbd is not only to cover the operation gap in areas where cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) is better than the DSRC but also to add extra performance scenarios to DSRC and augment the throughput provided by the technology (Naik et al., 2019). The main goals of the next-gen DSRC consist of duplicating the power on the media access control (MAC) and providing longer communication domains by decreasing the level of noise sensitivity. Some fundamental changes in the next-gen DSRC may be the insertion of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) numerology of IEEE 802.11ac for better performance, the adoption of Low-Density Parity Check (LDPC) forward error correction codes to make higher coding straightforward, the use of midambles for better channel assessment, the adoption of higher modulation and coding schemes including 256-QAM with the coding rate of 3/4, and the consideration of packet retransmission to improve reliability and reduce multimodal fading. Moreover, several major changes in the MAC layer of the next-gen DSRC may include the adoption of the IEEE 802.11r quick transfer feature, the initial fast connection feature of IEEE 802.11ai above the OCB mode, and the introduction of a dedicated error correction package (Ansari, 2021).


  1. Ansari, K., 2021. Joint use of DSRC and C-V2X for V2X communications in the 5.9 GHz ITS band. IET Intell. Transp. Syst. 15, 213–224.

  2. Fang, J., Xu, R., Yang, Y., Li, X., Zhang, S., Peng, X., Liu, X., 2017. Introduction and simulation of dedicated short range communication, in: 2017 IEEE 5th International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC-Beijing). IEEE, pp. 1–10.

  3. Hoque, M.A., Rios-Torres, J., Arvin, R., Khattak, A., Ahmed, S., 2020. The extent of reliability for vehicle-to-vehicle communication in safety critical applications: an experimental study. J. Intell. Transp. Syst. 24, 264–278.

  4. Industry ARC, n.d. DSRC Technology Market - Forecast(2021 - 2026) [WWW Document]. URL

  5. Naik, G., Choudhury, B., Park, J.-M., 2019. IEEE 802.11 bd & 5G NR V2X: Evolution of radio access technologies for V2X communications. IEEE Access 7, 70169–70184.

  6. Zeadally, S., Guerrero, J., Contreras, J., 2020. A tutorial survey on vehicle-to-vehicle communications. Telecommun. Syst. 73, 469–489.


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