Cooperative vehicular communication systems are being developed to improve traffic safety and efficiency through the wireless exchange of information between vehicles and between vehicles and infrastructure units. The future deployment of cooperative active safety applications requires their prior extensive testing due to their critical nature and strict quality of service requirements. Such testing should consider challenging driving and communications conditions that could significantly impact the applications' effectiveness. In this context, this paper presents a cooperative communications testing platform implemented to evaluate the operation and effectiveness of cooperative active safety applications under challenging driving and communications conditions. The paper also reports the results of an extensive testing campaign that reveals potential limitations of cooperative technologies and applications, and discusses possible countermeasures to overcome the applications' effectiveness degradation under adverse operating conditions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
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