Incentive driven LTE content distribution in VANETs

Content downloading from vehicles is becoming increasingly popular, but it also meets challenges dueto the limited number of road-side units (RSUs) and the expensive cost of 3G/LTE downloads. Cooperative LTE + vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) downloading schemes can significantly improve the efficiency and reduce costs. However, selfish users are motivated to minimize their own LTE downloading costs, so they would rather download content from their peers, i.e., act as free riders. Such uncooperative user behavior can severely degrade the performance.

In this paper, we propose an incentive driven cluster-based content distribution scheme that encourages cooperation. Vehicles with common interests form a cluster and take turns to be the cluster head. The cluster head directly downloads data packets from the Internet and V2V shares the content with surrounding vehicles. We show that this scheme cannot result in fair and efficient operation unless it is combined with an appropriate scheduling/management strategy. To this end, we design a serverassisted key management scheme that invites cooperation and also ensures fairness and efficiency. The proposed scheme is analyzed with game theoretic methods and is validated via simulation.