Empowering the internet of vehicles with multi-RAT 5G network slicing
Internet of Vehicles (IoV) is a hot research niche exploiting the synergy between Cooperative Intelligent Transportation Systems (C-ITS) and the Internet of Things (IoT), which can greatly benefit of the upcoming development of 5G technologies. The variety of end-devices, applications, and Radio Access Technologies (RATs) in IoV calls for new networking schemes that assure the Quality of Service (QoS) demanded by the users. To this end, network slicing techniques enable traffic differentiation with the aim of ensuring flow isolation, resource assignment, and network scalability. This work fills the gap of 5G network slicing for IoV and validates it in a realistic vehicular scenario. It offers an accurate bandwidth control with a full flow-isolation, which is essential for vehicular critical systems. The development is based on a distributed Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) architecture, which provides flexibility for the dynamic placement of the Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) in charge of managing network traffic. The solution is able to integrate heterogeneous radio technologies such as cellular networks and specific IoT communications with potential in the vehicular sector, creating isolated network slices without risking the Core Network (CN) scalability. The validation results demonstrate the framework capabilities of short and predictable slice-creation time, performance/QoS assurance and service scalability of up to one million connected devices.