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The University of Southampton

SESM3036 Automotive Mechatronics

Module Overview

This module will first be offered in the 2021/22 academic year. This module provides knowledge and understanding of electronics systems of modern road vehicles. Students will become familiar with electro-mechanical and electronic components and systems and will be able to design and improve systems aiming to enhance driving safety, performance, and ecology.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Understanding the contexts in which engineering knowledge can be applied: the characteristics and working principles of sensors, actuators, and electronic control units of modern vehicles. (Contributing to AHEP LOs:SM1b, SM2b, EA1b, P1, P2)
  • Power and data flow in a vehicle electronic system. (Contributing to AHEP LOs: SM1b, SM2b)
  • Control and advanced driver-assistance systems in modern vehicles. (Contributing to AHEP LOs: SM1b, SM2b)
  • The engineering principles of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. (Contributing to AHEP LOs: SM1b, SM2b, SM3b)
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify, classify and describe the performance of systems and components of automotive electronic systems (Contributing to AHEP LOs: EA1b, EA2)
  • Apply quantitative and computational methods to design and improve vehicle control systems, using advanced problem solving skills to establish rigorous and creative solutions, that are fit for purpose for all aspects of the problems, including production, operation, maintenance and disposal (Contributing to AHEP LOs: EA3b, D4).
  • Use fundamental knowledge to investigate new and emerging technologies of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (Contributing to AHEP LOs: EA5m)
  • Understanding of, and an ability to apply, an integrated or systems approach to solving automotive mechatronics problems (Contributing to AHEP LOs: EA4b)
  • Work with information that may be incomplete or uncertain and quantify the effect of this on design, ability to work with technical uncertainty (Contributing to AHEP LOs: D3b, P8)
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Listening, identifying learning needs, evaluating sources and data, interpretation of data, problem solving, problem analysis (Contributing to AHEP LOs: G1).


An introduction to automotive mechatronics, including: • Sensors for automotive applications (e.g. temperature, acceleration, pressure, etc.) • Electric and hydraulic actuators for automotive applications. • Wiring architectures, information bus & power bus, Control Area Network (CAN) • Safety systems, e.g. Antilock Brake Systems, Traction and Stability Control systems. • Driving automation, e.g. steer-by-wire, torque vectoring. • Advanced driver-assistance systems, (e.g. Intelligent Speed Adaptation, Collision Warning, Lane change assistance, or others) • Introduction to Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Lectures including examples and guest lectures • Demonstrations and video material when appropriate • Solutions to assigned problems Learning activities include • Individual reading of background material and course texts. • Coursework: Virtual prototyping of a control system simulation (e.g. development of a vehicle stability control system in Simulink) • Lab: test of a control system with Hardware in the Loop (HIL) technology

Completion of assessment task40
Supervised time in studio/workshop6
Wider reading or practice30
Preparation for scheduled sessions14
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Bosch Professional Automotive Information (2014). 3. Bosch Professional Automotive Information: Automotive Mechatronics: Automotive Networking, Driving Stability Systems, Electronics. 

W. B. Ribbens (2012). Understanding Automotive Electronics. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 20%
Examination  (2 hours) 80%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: FEEG2004

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