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Networks and Communications for the Connected Car


This module is only available to students on the MSc in Smart, Connected, and Autonomous Vehicles and as part of the Part Time TAS JLR scheme.


This module aims to provide the students with an up to date, comprehensive knowledge of the main wired and wireless communications technologies that are used, or will be used, in current and future production consumer vehicles.

Through providing a knowledge base of core telecommunications theories, the student is taken forward into the application domain, such that the various wired and wireless technologies in the context of the automotive space is understood. Key concepts of theory Vs application are discussed based upon the inference and understanding of the performance of the technologies both at the component and system level. Topics are introduced from both the theoretical and practical viewpoints to encourage independent critical evaluation of the subject matter.


Upon successful completion participants will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate different communication systems and how they might be integrated together within a connected and/or autonomous system.
  • Infer how the relative communications technologies interact with both the user, the vehicles control and the wider network.
  • Evaluate a complete communication system within the wider automotive eco-system and understand what is currently considered as state-of-the-art, with an enhanced research view of the future
  • An ability to apply relevant practical communications techniques appropriately and understand how their results may be used to inform judgements and develop and advance ideas and/or practice.
  • Demonstrate the ability to design communication systems to support connectivity aspect of connected and/or autonomous systems within the backdrop of Intelligent Transportation Systems network.
  • A comprehensive understanding of and competence in the use of appropriate channel modelling tools and techniques for the purpose of system performance prediction.



Taxonomy of modern communications. OSI Model, Signalling Vs Communications. Context of Networks and Communications.

Telecommunications Theory:

- Pulse Modulation: Analog to digital conversion. Sampling, aliasing, and Nyquist, Equalisation. Digitisation, quantisation and errors. Encoding and decoding.
- Baseband and Passband Modulation: baseband and applications of baseband transmission. ISI. Pulse shaping Baseband to pass-band. Carrier waves. Basic modulation types. Error rates and bandwidth relationships.
- Coding Theory: Information theory, BER, Binary (non-)symmetric channel, basic coding schemes, Entropy, AWGN. Error detection and correction, basic ECC Shannon limits and/or capacity.
- Multiple Access: Single channel communications. Multiple access motivation and techniques. Multiple access in practice.

Wireless Technologies
- Link Budget and Channel: Spectrum Reuse. Noise, origins and types. Free space losses. Carrier to Noise Ratio. Propagation models.
- 4G LTE: Principles and motivation. Key characteristics. OFDM/multicarrier transmitter and receiver. 4G spectrum organisation, carrier aggregation, resource management and channel mapping.
- GNSS: Core principles and motivation in the context of automotive. Signal types. Performance. Interfaces. Standards and regulations. Automotive integration.
- WiFi and the Unlicensed Spectrum: The unlicensed spectrum and considerations. WiFi standards, MAC and PHY. Architectures. LTE-U, regulations. Move to higher frequencies.
- 5G: Key Technologies and Roadmap for 5G. Background and Demands. 5G Specifications. Absorptions and specific channel limitations. Convergence including IoT. Backward (and forward) compatibility.
- Radio Frequency (RF) In, and Around, the Vehicle: Real world issues on antenna placement. Real world issues with materials. Vehicular EMI and mitigation techniques. Compatibility and conformity. Use of other EM bands as alternatives e.g. THz or Optical.

Wired Technologies
- Flexray: Context and principle applications. Physical layer. Protocol - Message frames, headers addressing etc. Topology. Usage and compliance. API. Determinism.
- CAN: Context and principle applications. Physical layer (low speed and high speed), and architecture. Protocol - Message frames, headers, addressing, message IDs. Usage and standards compliance.
- LIN: Context and principle applications. Physical layer. Protocol - Message frames, headers, addressing etc. Topology. Usage and compliance. API.
- Ethernet: General Ethernet principles. Networking model, and comparison between other technologies. Terminology. Standards. Topologies e.g. bridges, nodes, stations etc. Common physical layers and IEEE 802.3.


  • 4,000 word PMA: 70% of final mark
  • IMA: 30% of final mark


2 weeks, with 40 hours contact time (to include 26 hours of lectures,1 hour of tutorials,1 hour of seminars and 12 hours of practicals/workshops)

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.