IEEE 802.11p is one of the most promising future wireless standards due to the increasing demand of vehicular communication applications. At the time of writing, the document of the standard is in draft and much research is still required to study and improve the performance of transceivers in common vehicular scenarios. In this paper, we present a framework to evaluate the PHY layer of IEEE 802.11p systems in realistic situations. We detail the design and implementation of an FPGA-based real-time vehicular channel emulator. Contrarily to commercial emulators, ours is cheap, very flexible, and reconfigurable. We show its capabilities by evaluating performance in different high-speed scenarios. We also study the importance of coding and the benefits of using IEEE 802.11p instead of IEEE 802.11a in vehicular environments. Towards this aim, we developed a reference IEEE 802.11p PHY transceiver software model that can be taken as a convenient starting point for transceiver design.
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