Software-defined heterogeneous vehicular networking: the architectural design and open challenges

Adnan Mahmood*, Wei Emma Zhang, Quan Z. Sheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)
271 Downloads (Pure)


The promising advancements in the telecommunications and automotive sectors over the years have empowered drivers with highly innovative communication and sensing capabilities, in turn paving the way for the next-generation connected and autonomous vehicles. Today, vehicles communicate wirelessly with other vehicles and vulnerable pedestrians in their immediate vicinity to share timely safety-critical information primarily for collision mitigation. Furthermore, vehicles connect with the traffic management entities via their supporting network infrastructure to become more aware of any potential hazards on the roads and for guidance pertinent to their current and anticipated speeds and travelling course to ensure more efficient traffic flows. Therefore, a secure and low-latency communication is highly indispensable in order to meet the stringent performance requirements of such safety-critical vehicular applications. However, the heterogeneity of diverse radio access technologies and inflexibility in their deployment results in network fragmentation and inefficient resource utilization, and these, therefore, act as bottlenecks in realizing the aims for a highly efficient vehicular networking architecture. In order to overcome such sorts of bottlenecks, this article brings forth the current state-of-the-art in the context of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and subsequently proposes a software-defined heterogeneous vehicular networking (SDHVNet) architecture for ensuring a highly agile networking infrastructure to ensure rapid network innovation on-demand. Finally, a number of potential architectural challenges and their probable solutions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number70
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalFuture Internet
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Heterogeneous networking
  • Internet of Things
  • Internet of Vehicles
  • Safety-critical vehicular applications
  • Software-defined networks
  • V2X communication


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