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Fundamentals of Automotive Research, Development and Management


Introductory module of the new "Smart Connected and Autonomous Vehicles" course. Content focusses on the motivations for the introduction of autonomy and intelligence in the automotive industry: safety, reduced human and economic losses, comfort, reduced environmental impact. The module introduces the overarching legislative and regulatory frameworks alongside organisational and strategic approaches of manufacturers in response to the problem.
Furthermore, this module equips participants with fundamental knowledge of the automotive field, practical guidance on how to conduct an academically-sound and technically-sound research projects by exploring the key elements of good academic and research practice. It also provides a practical understanding of the major research methods and techniques used in technical project, project planning and business implications.

The module aims to equip students with the in-depth knowledge of the opportunities, challenges, trends and issues faced by the automotive industry. An understanding of the key drivers, players, standards and road maps driving the industry along with the description of the key technical roles helping its transformation is explored. Methods pertaining to project management and operation strategies are applied to the specific context of the automotive industry maintaining academic and professional rigour.


Upon successful completion participants will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate real-world motivations and benefits for smart and automated transportation
  • Understand and apply key critical thinking techniques and appropriate methods relevant to the academic writing process
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of project planning and operation strategies, risk and quality management and their application to the automotive context
  • Generate independently a Research/Project Outline and Plan, including business implications


Introduction to the research process; Understanding and completing a literature review, focusing on the four key stages: searching, synthesising, evaluating and writing; Critical thinking; Project planning and management; Study skills to undertake a technical project; An introduction to the structure and form of an academic document and technical reports; Generating a Research Outline; key drivers, players, standards and road maps driving the industry; current opportunities, challenges, trends and issues faced by the automotive industry.


  • Post-module assessment (80%)
  • In-module assessment (20%)


1 week including 30 hours of lectures, 5 hours of project supervision and 15 hours of group exercises, group presentations,visit to facilities abd guest lectures.

This module is only available on the full-time and part-time MSc Smart, Connected, and Autonomous Vehicles and as part of the part-time TAS JLR scheme.

Please note: the details of this module are correct for the current year of study and may be subject to change for future years.