Intelligent Transportation Systems

Volume 52 of the series Studies in Systems, Decision and Control pp 19-47


Visible Light Communication for Cooperative ITS

  • Mariano FalcitelliAffiliated withCNIT - National Laboratory of Photonic Networks Email author 
  • , Paolo PaganoAffiliated withCNIT - National Laboratory of Photonic Networks

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Visible Light Communication (VLC) is the technique adopting electromagnetic frequencies in the visible spectrum for free space optical communications. Although its practical use is still at early stages, in the last few years research activities have been exploring different solutions to achieve high data rates and reliable links using common LEDs and light sensors. VLC can be used in a variety of applications or end user segments, exploiting already existing lighting infrastructures and thus making VLC a cheap communication system. Among these applications, a prominent case study is that of ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems), where car headlamps and traffic lights can be used to communicate and fulfil the requirements of road safety applications. This option turns to be particularly effective in short range direct communications to exploit its line-of-sight feature and overcome the issues related to the isotropic nature of radio waves. Recently IEEE undertook standardization activities on VLC, resulting in the IEEE 802.15.7 standard, which disciplines PHY and MAC layer services for Visible-light Personal Area Networks (VPANs). This chapter shows the recent achievements of the experimental research in the scope of VLC prototyping for ITS. Special attention is devoted to the development of a VLC prototype based on IEEE 802.15.7 standard, using low cost embedded systems as the target platforms. The aim is to provide useful considerations for achieving devices suitable to be integrated in existing PANs, or to cooperate with other wireless networks to provide communication services in complex architectures like ITS.