Internet of Drones (IoD) is an efficient technique that can be integrated with vehicular ad-hoc networks (VANETs) to provide terrestrial communications by acting as an aerial relay when terrestrial infrastructure is unreliable or unavailable. To fully exploit the drones’ flexibility and superiority, we propose a novel dynamic IoD collaborative communication approach for urban VANETs. Unlike most of the existing approaches, the IoD nodes are dynamically deployed based on current locations of ground vehicles to effectively mitigate inevitable isolated cars in conventional VANETs. For efficiently coordinating IoD, we model IoD to optimize coverage based on the location of vehicles. The goal is to obtain an efficient IoD deployment to maximize the number of covered vehicles, i.e., minimize the number of isolated vehicles in the target area. More importantly, the proposed approach provides sufficient interconnections between IoD nodes. To do so, an improved version of succinct population-based meta-heuristic, namely Improved Particle Swarm Optimization (IPSO) inspired by food searching behavior of birds or fishes flock, is implemented for IoD assisted VANET (IoDAV). Moreover, the coverage, received signal quality, and IoD connectivity are achieved by IPSO’s objective function for optimal IoD deployment at the same time. We carry out an extensive experiment based on the received signal at floating vehicles to examine the proposed IoDAV performance. We compare the results with the baseline VANET with no IoD (NIoD) and Fixed IoD assisted (FIoD). The comparisons are based on the coverage percentage of the ground vehicles and the quality of the received signal.


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