Platooning on the Edge
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latooning of cars or trucks is one of the most relevant applica- tions of autonomous driving, since it has the potential to greatly improve efficiency in road utilization and fuel consumption. Tradi- tional proposals of vehicle platooning were based on distributed architectures with computation on board platoon vehicles and di- rect vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications (or Dedicated Short Range Communication - DSRC), possibly with the support of road- side units. However, with the introduction of the 5G technology and of computing elements at the edge of the network, according to the multi-access edge computing (MEC) paradigm, the possibility emerges of a centralized control of platoons through MEC, with several significant advantages with respect to the V2V approach. For this reason, in this paper we investigate the feasibility of vehicle platooning in a centralized scenario where the control of vehicle speed and acceleration is managed by the network through its MEC facilities, possibly with a platooning-as-a-service (PaaS) paradigm. Using a detailed simulator, we show that, with realistic values of latency and packet loss probability, large platoons can be effectively controlled by MEC hosts.