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Dedicated Short-Range Communications

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Dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) is a wireless communications technology that enables short-range, two-way data exchange between vehicles and roadside infrastructure. DSRC is being developed to improve road safety and efficiency by enabling real-time communication between vehicles and the roadside. 

DSRC has the potential to revolutionize transportation by providing a communications platform for a variety of applications, such as collision avoidance, emergency vehicle notification, traffic signal priority, and electronic toll collection. DSRC is being standardized by the IEEE 802.11p working group and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Transportation as the technology for intelligent transportation systems.

What is Dedicated Short-Range Communications?

Dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) is a wireless communication technology that enables short-range data exchange between vehicles and roadside infrastructure. DSRC is being developed to improve road safety and efficiency by allowing vehicular network applications such as cooperative collision avoidance, electronic toll collection, and traffic management.

While DSRC shares many characteristics with Wi-Fi (e.g., both technologies use the unlicensed 2.4 GHz band), several essential distinctions make DSRC well-suited for vehicular communication applications. DSRC supports high data rates (up to 27 Mbps), low latency (< 10 ms), and reliability (up to 99.999%). In addition, DSRC employs adaptive power control to minimize interference with other users of the 2.4 GHz band and incorporates security features to protect against spoofing and denial-of-service attacks.

The Different Types of Dedicated Short-Range Communications Systems

There are three types of Dedicated Short Range Communications systems: Cellular-based, Vehicular Ad-hoc Network (VANET), and Infrastructure-based. 

Cellular-based DSRC uses a cellular network to connect vehicles and the infrastructure. VANETs use ad hoc networking principles to connect cars without infrastructure. Infrastructure-based DSRC uses roadside units connected to the vehicle via a wired or wireless connection to communicate with other cars and the infrastructure.

Pros and Cons of Dedicated Short-Range Communications

The U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing a rule requiring new cars and light trucks to be equipped with technology that would enable them to communicate with each other and with infrastructure like traffic lights and stop signs. This technology is called Dedicated Short Range Communications, or DSRC.

The potential benefits of this technology are significant. For example, DSRC could help reduce traffic congestion and accidents by allowing vehicles to share information about their location, speed, and intent with each other. This would allow drivers to make better decisions about when to change lanes or merge and could also help automated vehicles navigate more safely and efficiently.

DSRC could also have applications beyond the transportation sector. For example, it could be used for emergency communications or managing significant events like concerts or sporting events.

However, there are also some potential downsides to DSRC. One concern is that the system could be hacked or spoofed, leading to safety issues. Another problem is that the technology could be used for invasive tracking of people’s movements. And finally, there is the possibility that DSRC will never catch on, in which case the billions of dollars spent on developing and deploying it will have been wasted.

What are the Applications of Dedicated Short-Range Communications?

Dedicated short-range communications, or DSRC, is a type of communication that allows for direct communication between vehicles and roadside infrastructure. DSRC can be used for a variety of applications, including: 

-Safety applications, such as sending alerts about hazardous conditions ahead on the road;

-Efficiency applications, such as coordinating traffic signals to ease congestion; and 

-Commercial applications, such as providing in-vehicle payment options for tolls or parking.

How Does Dedicated Short-Range Communications Work?

Dedicated Short Range Communications, or DSRC, is a technology that allows vehicles to communicate with each other and with infrastructures like traffic lights and road signs. DSRC uses the 5.9 GHz frequency band set aside by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). 

DSRC-equipped vehicles communicate using short-range radio waves. A typical DSRC system includes a transceiver, antenna, and GPS receiver. The transceiver sends and receives messages on the 5.9 GHz frequency band. The antenna broadcasts the radio waves, and the GPS receiver provides location information for the system. 

DSRC systems use various message types to communicate information about a vehicle’s speed, location, and direction. This information can be used by other cars or by infrastructure to help improve safety and efficiency on the road. For example, if a vehicle ahead of you brakes suddenly, your DSRC-equipped car can warn you of the danger and help you avoid a collision. Or if there’s an accident ahead, your vehicle can automatically reroute you to avoid the traffic jam. 

DSRC systems are being tested and deployed around the world in a variety of applications. In the United States, DSRC is being used in pilot projects to test how it can be used in connected vehicle applications like Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication(V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communication.


Dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) is a technology that allows vehicles to communicate with each other and with infrastructure, such as traffic lights. DSRC has the potential to improve safety on our roads by reducing collisions, and it also has the potential to reduce congestion. For DSRC to be fully effective, however, all vehicles must be equipped with the technology. We hope this article has given you a better understanding of DSRC and its workings.


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