Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks (VANETs) are considered by car manufacturers and the research community as the enabling technology to radically improve the safety, efficiency and comfort of everyday driving. However, before VANET technology can fulfill all its expected potential, several difficulties must be addressed. One key issue arising when working with VANETs is the complexity of the networking protocols compared to those used by traditional infrastructure networks. Therefore, proper design of the routing strategy becomes a main issue for the effective deployment of VANETs. In this paper, a reliable freestanding position-based routing algorithm (FPBR) for highway scenarios is proposed. For this scenario, several important issues such as the high mobility of vehicles and the propagation conditions may affect the performance of the routing strategy. These constraints have only been partially addressed in previous proposals. In contrast, the design approach used for developing FPBR considered the constraints imposed by a highway scenario and implements mechanisms to overcome them. FPBR performance is compared to one of the leading protocols for highway scenarios. Performance metrics show that FPBR yields similar results when considering freespace propagation conditions, and outperforms the leading protocol when considering a realistic highway path loss model.
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