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Mobile Information Systems
Volume 6 (2010), Issue 3, Pages 259-280
http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/MIS-2010-0103

Robust Video Communication over an Urban VANET

N. Qadri, M. Altaf, M. Fleury, and M. Ghanbari

School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ, UK

Received 15 September 2010; Accepted 15 September 2010

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.

Abstract

Video communication within a Vehicular Ad Hoc Network (VANET) has the potential to be of considerable benefit in an urban emergency, as it allows emergency vehicles approaching the scene to better understand the nature of the emergency. However, the lack of centralized routing and network resource management within a VANET is an impediment to video streaming. To overcome these problems the paper pioneers source-coding techniques for VANET video streaming. The paper firstly investigates two practical multiple-path schemes, Video Redundancy Coding (VRC) and the H.264/AVC codec's redundant frames. The VRC scheme is reinforced by gradual decoder refresh to improve the delivered video quality. Evaluation shows that multiple-path 'redundant frames' achieves acceptable video quality at some destinations, whereas VRC is insufficient. The paper also demonstrates a third source coding scheme, single-path streaming with Flexible Macroblock Ordering, which is also capable of delivery of reasonable quality video. Therefore, video communication between vehicles is indeed shown to be feasible in an urban emergency if the suitable source coding techniques are selected.