A Survey of Autonomous Vehicles: Enabling Communication Technologies and Challenges

M. Nadeem Ahangar, Qasim Ahmed, Fahd A. khan, Maryam Hafeez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

163 Citations (Scopus)


The Department of Transport in the United Kingdom recorded 25,080 motor vehicle fatalities in 2019. This situation stresses the need for an intelligent transport system (ITS) that improves road safety and security by avoiding human errors with the use of autonomous vehicles (AVs). Therefore, this survey discusses the current development of two main components of an ITS: (1) gathering of AVs surrounding data using sensors; and (2) enabling vehicular communication technologies. First, the paper discusses various sensors and their role in AVs. Then, various communication technologies for AVs to facilitate vehicle to everything (V2X) communication are discussed. Based on the transmission range, these technologies are grouped into three main categories: long-range, medium-range and short-range. The short-range group presents the development of Bluetooth, ZigBee and ultra-wide band communication for AVs. The medium-range examines the properties of dedicated short-range communications (DSRC). Finally, the long-range group presents the cellular-vehicle to everything (C-V2X) and 5G-new radio (5G-NR). An important characteristic which differentiates each category and its suitable application is latency. This research presents a comprehensive study of AV technologies and identifies the main advantages, disadvantages, and challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Article number706
Pages (from-to)1-33
Number of pages33
JournalSensors (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number3
Early online date21 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


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