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Journal of Advanced Transportation
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 2750452, 10 pages
Research Article

DSRC versus 4G-LTE for Connected Vehicle Applications: A Study on Field Experiments of Vehicular Communication Performance

1School of Information Engineering, Chang’an University, No. 435, The Middle Section of South 2nd-Ring Road, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710064, China
2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis, 3145 Ghausi Hall, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA
3California Department of Transportation, Division of Maintenance, Headquarters, 2389 Gateway Oaks Drive, No. 200, MS 91, Sacramento, CA 958833, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Xiangmo Zhao

Received 14 April 2017; Accepted 3 July 2017; Published 23 August 2017

Academic Editor: Xiaobo Qu

Copyright © 2017 Zhigang Xu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) and 4G-LTE are two widely used candidate schemes for Connected Vehicle (CV) applications. It is thus of great necessity to compare these two most viable communication standards and clarify which one can meet the requirements of most V2X scenarios with respect to road safety, traffic efficiency, and infotainment. To the best of our knowledge, almost all the existing studies on comparing the feasibility of DRSC or LTE in V2X applications use software-based simulations, which may not represent realistic constraints. In this paper, a Connected Vehicle test-bed is established, which integrates the DSRC roadside units, 4G-LTE cellular communication stations, and vehicular on-board terminals. Three Connected Vehicle application scenarios are set as Collision Avoidance, Traffic Text Message Broadcast, and Multimedia File Download, respectively. A software tool is developed to record GPS positions/velocities of the test vehicles and record certain wireless communication performance indicators. The experiments have been carried out under different conditions. According to our results, 4G-LTE is more preferred for the nonsafety applications, such as traffic information transmission, file download, or Internet accessing, which does not necessarily require the high-speed real-time communication, while for the safety applications, such as Collision Avoidance or electronic traffic sign, DSRC outperforms the 4G-LTE.