Course Title: Electronic Systems for Automotive Applications

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Electronic Systems for Automotive Applications

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


125H Electrical & Computer Engineering


Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


125H Electrical & Computer Engineering


Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021

Course Coordinator: Shaun Cloherty

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 0424

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 012.08.017

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You are required to have successfully completed Electronics (EEET2255) or other equivalent studies (enforced prerequisite). It is also recommended that you have successfully completed Embedded System Design and Implementation (EEET2096) or equivalent studies (this is not an enforced prerequisite).

You will be expected to be familiar with AC and DC circuit analyses, microprocessor system design and be able to use industry standard SPICE circuit simulation tools.

The course requires you to be able to build and debug simple sensor processing circuits and as such experience with prototyping hardware is an advantage. Experience with C/C++ programming of microprocessors is also an advantage. 

Course Description

The course will introduce you to contemporary electronic systems for automotive applications. A strong emphasis will be placed on the evaluation of commercial signal conditioning circuits and their implementation in modern automobiles.

You will be required to design and evaluate various circuits and interface them directly to industry standard hardware. A strong background in C/C++ is recommended.

The course will be strongly design oriented with a focus on development of practical design skills.

Particular topics to be investigated will include:

  • An introduction to modern combustion engine topologies.
  • Engine Management and sensor interfaces.
  • Ignition electronics.
  • Engine Control Unit design and parameter mapping.
  • Internal vehicle communication protocols.
  • Controller Area Network analysis and programming.
  • Vehicle safety and stability.
  • Diagnostic tools and analysis.
  • Clean Diesel evolution.
  • Hybrid and electric vehicle topologies.

Please note that if you take this course for a bachelor honours program, your overall mark in this course will be one of the course marks that will be used to calculate the weighted average mark (WAM) that will determine your award level. (This applies to students who commence enrolment in a bachelor honours program from 1 January 2016 onward. See the WAM information web page for more information.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At undergraduate level this course develops the following Program Learning Outcomes:

1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.

2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.

2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources

On completion of this course you should be able to (CLOs):

  1. Comprehend the roles and implementations of various electronic systems used in automotive design.
  2. Design and evaluate sensor signal processing hardware used in a modern automobiles.
  3. Critically analyse signal processing circuits and suggest improvements to their design and functionality.
  4. Develop firmware for various pieces of hardware to communicate / exercise automobile systems.
  5. Describe the trends in development of automotive electronics systems

Overview of Learning Activities

Student Learning occurs through the following experiences and evaluation processes:

  • Recorded lectures where syllabus material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples;
  • Completion of tutorial questions and laboratory projects designed to give further practice in the application of theory and procedures, and to give feedback on student progress and understanding;
  • Completion of written assignments consisting of numerical and other problems requiring an integrated understanding of the course topics;
  • Private study, working through the course as presented in classes and learning materials, and gaining
  • Practice at solving conceptual and numerical problems.

Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or online discussions, through individual and group feedback on practical exercises and by individual consultation.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be expected to use library and electronic resources (as well as any other appropriate resources) to engage in professional reading of relevant literature on electronic systems for automobiles.

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.


Overview of Assessment

☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Leaning & Teaching).

At undergraduate level assessment in this course consists of the following components:

  1. Laboratory Tasks
  2. Tutorial Quiz
  3. Written Assignment
  4. Final Assessment (submitted online)

You will be required to submit formal individual reports for each laboratory task. Feedback will be provided in the submitted report, via Canvas, or via individual consultation. Furthermore, during the laboratory sessions the tutor will provide further insight into your design and offer suggestions on how it could potentially be improved or expanded.

Assessment tasks 


Assessment Task 1: Laboratory Tasks

Weighting 50%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4

Assessment Task 2: Tutorial Quiz

Weighting 15%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 3, & 5

Assessment Task 3: Written Assignment

Weighting 15%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 5

Assessment Task 4: Final Assessment 

Weighting 20%  

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 3 & 5