This research studies the behavior and performance of a transportation corridor made of a freeway and arterial streets under a Connected Vehicles (CV) environment, where vehicles equipped with wireless communication and sensing devices collect, process, and share traffic information among themselves along with roadside sensors. First, methods of fusing/combining real-time traffic data from both vehicles and roadside sensors will be explored to automate the detection of incidents (e.g., accidents) and estimation of the multi-modal traffic demand at intersections or origin-to-destination trip information. Second, the research studies how congestion, particularly traffic jams, emerge and spread, and how cooperative driving technology (CACC), vehicle speed control, and platooning can increase the efficiency of vehicle streams. Our envisioned system will integrate WAVE communications, vehicle positioning, obstacle detection, and in-vehicle processors to form opportunistically high-performance vehicle streams on-demand, particularly at merging, lane-dropping locations and on special lanes in a distributed manner. Finally, the research makes use of the results obtained from the first two tasks to explore algorithms that will enable the adaptive, coordinated control of freeway ramp meters and traffic lights, and the re-routing of traffic in response to traffic incidents.

As part of this project, we have developed Vehicular Network Open Simulator (VENTOS), an integrated C++ simulator that consists of many different modules, including enhancement to SUMO and OMNET.

We hope the results of our research will lead to new ways to monitor and control vehicular traffic, which will enable applications for reducing traffic congestion and fuel consumption. We will build on some of the results and tools developed in our previous collaborative project, VMesh/VGrid, where our team leverages vehicular ad hoc networks (VANET) to perform distributed data sensing, relaying, and computing.

VMesh/VGrid (NSF )

FCC's has allocated the 5.85-5.925GHz portion of the spectrum for inter-vehicle communications (IVC) and vehicle-to-roadside communications (VRC), known as Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC). This is fueled significant interest in designing new applications, including driver-vehicle safety applications, infotainment, and mobile internet services for passengers. In addition to low cost and robust wireless communication devices, vehicles can also be equipped with storage, processing, and sensing capability. There is a huge untapped opportunity to leverage such vehicular-based ad hoc networks (VANETs) to enable a wide variety of new services and societal applications. In particular, VANETs can be used to provide/implement the following networking, computing, and sensing primitives:

  • First, using local storage, each vehicle can act as a store-and-forward mobile router and an ad hoc network of vehicles can form an intelligent transit network.
  • Second, using the local processing capability, an ad hoc network of vehicles can form an on-demand and dynamic grid computing engine.
  • Third, with the sensing capability, the vehicles can together function as a distributed mobile sensor network.

In this research project, we will explore two interesting directions:

  • VMesh - Vehicular Wireless Mesh Networks, a new networking paradigm DSRC-enabled vehicles dynamically form a mobile transit network to gather and dessiminate information. For example, VMesh and relay data between different clusters of static nodes that are otherwise disconnected. One of such example application is to support the California Energy Demand Response.
  • VGrid - Vehicular Ad Hoc Grid, as a vehicular ad hoc networking and computing grid for intelligent traffic monitoring and control. The goal is to evolve intelligent transportation system (ITS) from a centralized to a distributed approach, in which vehicles can cooperatively solve traffic-flow control problems autonomously. One of the example application is the lane-merging scenario, especially when the visibility is low during storms or foggy weather.

Unlike other mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) that consist of power- and computing-limited nodes, such as wireless sensor motes or hand-held devices, vehicular-based wireless ad hoc networks have notably different design characteristics. The vehicles have ample power/energy and can be equipped with computing resources (e.g., processor and storage space) resources. On the other hand, VMesh is made of of a large number of autonomous, quickly-moving vehicles. This dynamic nature makes for a number of interesting problems that need to be considered.

  • Link breakage is the norm, not an exception. Peers may disappear with little or no warning.
  • Hierarchies of peer spaces are amorphous objects, not well defined entities.
  • Global naming/addressing for individual vehicles is non-existent.

We will focus on architecture/protocol designs to address reliability, scalability and performance issues of VMesh/VGrid, and intelligent transportation applications enabled by VGrid.



Graduate Students

  • Ammar Haydari, Electrical & Computer Engineering (PhD)
  • Jerry Chia-Cheng Yen, Computer Science (PhD)


  • Kartik Pandit, Computer Science (PhD, 2013)
  • Hui Deng, Civil & Environmental Engineering (PhD)
  • Mani Amoozadeh, Electrical & Computer Engineering (PhD, 2018)
  • Huajun Chai, Civil & Environmental Engineering (PhD, 2019)
  • Zhongyi Lin, Electrical & Computer Engineering (MS, 2017)
  • Bryan Ching, Electrical & Computer Engineering (MS, 2019)
  • Hasith Rajakarunanay, Electrical & Computer Engineering (B.S., 2018)
  • Zhening Zhang, Electrical & COmputer Engineering (B.S., 2018)
  • B. Liu, Computer Science (PhD, 2011)
  • B. Khorashadi, Computer Science (PhD, 2009)
  • H. Du, Civil and Environmental Engineering (PhD, 2009)
  • A. Chen, Electrical & Computer Engineering (MS, 2007)
  • H. Chang, Electrical & Computer Engineering (MS 2004)
  • C. Carde, Electrical & Computer Engineering (MS 2004)
  • J. Anda, Computer Science (MS 2004)


  • M. Amoozadeh, B. Ching, C-N. Chuah, D. Ghosal, and H. Michael Zhang, “VENTOS: Vehicular Network Open Simulator with Hardware-in-the-Loop Support,” 10th International Conference on Ambient Systems, Networks, and Technologies (ANT), April/May 2019.
  • C. Yen, D. Ghosal, M. Zhang, C-N. Chuah, and H. Chen, “Falsified Data Attack on Backpressure-based Traffic Signal Control Algorithms,” IEEE Vehicular Networking Conference (VNC), December 2018.
  • J. Wu, D. Ghosal, H. M. Zhang, C-N. Chuah, "Delay-based Traffic Signal Control for Throughput Optimality and Fairness at Isolated Intersection," IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, vol. 67, no. 2, pp. 896-909, February 2018.
  • H. Chai, M. Zhang, D. Ghosal, C-N. Chuah, "Dynamic Traffic Routing in a Network with Adaptive Signal Control," Elsevier Transportation Research Part C, vol. 85, pp. 64-85, December 2017.
  • H. Chai, M. Zhang, D. Ghosal, and C-N. Chuah, "Dynamic Traffic Routing in a Network with Adaptive Signal Control," Transportation Research Board 2016 Annual Meeting, January 2016.
  • M. Amoozadeh, A. Raghumaru, C-N. Chuah, D. Ghosal, H. Michael Zhang, J. Rowe, and K. Levitt, "Security Vulnerabilities of Connected Vehicles Streams and their Impact on Cooperative Driving," IEEE Communications Magazine - Automotive Networking Series, 53(6), pp. 126-132, June 2015. [pdf]
  • M. Amoozadeh, H. Deng, C-N. Chuah, H. Michael Zhang, D. Ghosal, "Platoon Management with Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control Enabled by VANET," Elsevier Vehicular Communications, 2(2), pp. 110-123, April 2015. [pdf] (VehCom Best Paper Award 2018)
  • K. Pandit, D. Ghosal, H. M. Zhang, C-N. Chuah, "Adaptive Traffic Signal Control With Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks (Vanet)," to appear in IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology Special Section: Graph Theory and Its Application in Vehicular Networking, January 2013. [pdf]
  • B. Liu, B. Khorashadi, D. Ghosal, C-N. Chuah, and M. Zhang, "Analysis Of The Information Storage Capability Of Vanet For Highway And City Traffic," Transportation Research, Part C: Special Issue on Data Management in Vehicular Networks, vol. 23, pp. 68-84, August 2012. [pdf]
  • B. Liu, D. Ghosal, C-N. Chuah, and M. Zhang, "Reducing Greenhouse Effects via Fuel Consumption-Aware Variable Speed Limit (FC-VSL)," IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 111-122, January 2012. [pdf]
  • B. Liu, D. Ghosal, Y. Dong, C-N. Chuah, and M. Zhang, "CarbonRecorder: A Mobile-Social Vehicular Carbon Emission Tracking Application Suite," IEEE Wireless Vehicular Communications Demo Track, September 2011. [pdf]
  • B. Khorashadi, D. Ghosal, C-N. Chuah, and M. Zhang, "Distributed Automated Incident detection with VGrid," IEEE Wireless Communication Magazine, vol. 18, no.1, pp. 64-73, February 2011. [url]
  • J. Chu, K. Feng, C-N. Chuah, and C. Liu, "Cognitive Radio Enabled Multi-Channel Access for Vehicular Communications," IEEE VTC, September 2010. [pdf]
  • B. Liu, B. Khorashadi, D. Ghosal, C-N. Chuah, and M. Zhang, "Assessing the VANET's Local Information Storage Capability under Different Traffic Mobility," to appear in IEEE INFOCOM Mini Conference, March 2010. [pdf]
  • B. Khorashadi, B. Liu, H. Du, D. Ghosal, C-N. Chuah, and M. Zhang, "Smoothing Vehicular Traffic Flow with VGrid," Transportation Research Board 2010 Annual Meeting, January 2010. [pdf]
  • B. Liu, B. Khorashadi, H. Du, D. Ghosal, C-N. Chuah and M. Zhang, "VGSim: An Integrated Networking and Microscopic Vehicular Mobility Simulation Platform," IEEE Communication Magazine Automotive Networking Series, vol. 47, no. 5, pp. 134-141, May 2009. [pdf]
  • C-N. Chuah, H. Du, D. Ghosal, B. Khorashadi, B. Liu, C. Smith, H. M. Zhang, "Distributed Vehicular Traffic Control and Safety Applications with VGrid," IEEE Wireless Hive Networks Conference, August 2008.
  • H. Du, M. Zhang, C-N. Chuah, and D. Ghosal, "A Finer Resolution Cellular Automata Model for Inter Vehicle Communication Applications," Transportation Research Board 2008 Annual Meeting, 13 pp., January 2008.
  • B. Khorashadi, A. Chen, D. Ghosal, C-N. Chuah, and M. Zhang, "Impact of Transmission Power on the Performance of UDP in Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks," IEEE Proc. International Conference on Communications (ICC), June 2007. [pdf]
  • B. Khorashadi, A. Chen, D. Ghosal, C-N. Chuah. "Impact of Transmission Power on TCP Performance in Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks," the 4th Annual Conference on Wireless On Demand Network Systems and Services, January 2007. (Invited) [pdf]
  • A. Chen, B. Khorashadi, C-N. Chuah, D. Ghosal, and M. Zhang, "Smoothing Vehicular Traffic Flow Using Vehicular-Based Ad Hoc Networking and Computing Grid (VGRID)," IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSC), September 2006. [pdf]
  • J. LeBrun, C-N. Chuah, D. Ghosal, and H. M. Zhang, "Knowledge-Based Opportunistic Forwarding in Vehicular Wireless Ad Hoc Networks," IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference, Spring 2005. [pdf]
  • J. Anda, J. LeBrun, D. Ghosal, C-N. Chuah, and H. M. Zhang, "VGrid: Vehicular Ad Hoc Networking and Computing Grid for Intelligent Traffic Control," IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference, Spring 2005. [pdf]
  • J. LeBrun, J. Anda, C-N. Chuah, M. Zhang, and D. Ghosal, "VGrid: Vehicular Ad Hoc Networking and Computing Grid for Intelligent Traffic Control," to be presented at the UCD-STudent Workshop on Computing, October 2004. [ pdf]
  • H. C. Chang, H. Du, J. Anda, C-N. Chuah, D. Ghosal, and M. Zhang, "Enabling Energy Demand Response with Vehicular Mesh Networks", IFIP/IEEE Intl Conference on Mobile and Wireless Communication Networks (MWCN), October 2004. [pdf]

Technical Reports

  • D. Ghosal, C-N. Chuah, and M. Zhang, "VGrid/VMesh: Distributed Sensing and Computing with Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks," Technical Report ECE-CE-2004-9, Computer Engineering Research Laboratory, University of California, Davis, December 2004. [pdf]
  • J. Anda, "VGrid: Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networking and Computing Grid for Intelligent Traffic Control," M.S. Thesis, UC Davis, 2004.
  • C. Carde, "A Framework for the Rapid Design and Implementation of Distributed CAN Control Networks for Prototype Vehicles," M.S. Thesis, UC Davis, 2004.


VENTOS is an integrated C++ simulator for studying vehicular traffic flows, collaborative driving, and interactions between vehicles and infrastructure through WAVE-enabled wireless communication capability.

Education Outreach

Our team involves several undergraduates in our research over the course of the project, including the offering of the first senior design project in self-driving car in 2017-18. This effort is supported via REU funding from NSF CMMI-1301496 grant and donations from Nvidia.


This work is supported by the National Science Foundation Grant CMMI-1301496