Social on the road: enabling secure and efficient social networking on highways This article presents SOR, a vehicular social network to enable social communications and interactions among users on the road during their highway travels. Motivated by the limited connection to Internet contents and services, the essential goal of SOR is to encourage distributed users on the road tospontaneously contribute as the information producer, assembler, and distributer in order to provide timely and localized infotainments to each other through low-cost inter-vehicle communications. To be specific, SOR enables individual users to maintain a personal blog, similar to one on Facebook and Twitter, over which users can create and share personal content information to the public such as travel blogs with pictures and videos. By accessing each other’s SOR blogs and commenting on interesting topics, passengers can exchange messages and initiate social interactions. In the specific highway environment, SOR addresses two challenges in the context of vehicular social communications.
First, vehicular social communications tend to be frequently interrupted by diverse vehicle mobility and intermittent intervehicle connections, which is annoying to users. To address this issue, SOR adopts a proactive mechanism by estimating the connection time between peer vehicles, and recommending vehicles with relatively long-lasting and stable intervehicle connections for social communications. Second, as users on the road are typically strangers to each other, they are reluctantto disclose personal information to others. This makes it challenging to identify users of shared interests and accordingly restricts the scale of users’ social interactions. To remedy that, SOR provides a secured solution to protect sensitive user information during social communications. Lastly, we use simulations to verify the performance of SOR.