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Progressive Research On A Wireless Automated Highway System: The Autonet Superproject

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

DELOS Best Paper Nominations

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1008.1 - 13.1008.15



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Paper Authors


Johnny Chang National University

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Johnny Chang received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics Management with a minor in Political Science from University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 2005. He received a Master of Science in Wireless Communications from National University, San Diego in 2007. He is currently working as a full-time Systems Engineer with the Accenture National Security Services (formerly Maxim Systems) in San Diego, where he is gaining valuable experience and professionalism in satellite wireless communications and GPS.

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Ayman El Salim National University

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Ayman El Salim received a Master of Science in Wireless Communications from National University, San Diego in 2007. Since completing an engineering internship with Qualcomm Inc., San Diego, he is working as a Software System Test Engineer with Sierra Wireless in San Diego, CA.

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Ronald Uhlig National University

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Michelle Bright

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Progressive Research On A Wireless Automated Highway System: The AutoNet SuperProject

Abstract A Master’s Research Project, the culmination of the Master of Science in Wireless Communications (MSWC) degree at National University, is normally completed within three to four months. This paper discusses National University’s experience with an approach in which research on various aspects of topics too complex to be completed within three months is to be passed to successive groups of students. The initial project chosen for this approach is the AutoNet Progressive Research Project. “AutoNet” is a next-generation automobile traffic wireless network system for future “smart cars” that can both communicate with each other wirelessly, and be operated automatically on super highways. Due to cost and time constraints, the initial project had to be confined to a “light” version of the concept. A simplified demonstration was developed, using Bluetooth, GPS, and RF transmitters and receivers with specially equipped, remotely-controlled cars, to compute instantaneous distance between the cars and notify the operators of impending collisions. This low-cost demonstration system sent GPS information through a Bluetooth-enabled GPS receiver from the remotely-controlled cars to a laptop computer that simulated a wireless base station. MATLAB software running on the laptop combined the two GPS data streams, and then computed when a collision was likely. Finally, the laptop sent a signal via an RF transmitter to receivers mounted in the cars to alert the drivers to a possible collision before the cars got too close to each other. The relative positions of the two cars were also displayed on a visualization map. The demonstration system proved to be a powerful tool for students to integrate what they had learned across the MSWC program, but it had to leave many important areas of research untouched due to time limitations. The students and faculty mentors then identified key “next research” areas so that the project could be passed on to successive groups of students scheduled to complete their Master’s Research Projects at a later time. Each new group is responsible for choosing which of the next areas of research interest them the most, so they can carve out a project that will enable them to both demonstrate mastery of wireless communications principles and practice, and consecutively, carry out real research on meaningful topics. By integrating each new set of results with prior results, and recommending what should be done next, students are better prepared for the real world where they will work in teams to build on each other’s work to produce high quality results. Introduction Master’s Degree programs in the National University School of Engineering and Technology culminate in a Research Project in which teams of 2-4 students normally spend three months to complete an in-depth research project that demonstrates their mastery of all that they have learned in the program. The majority of the first month is spent developing a detailed project plan. They conduct most of their research in the second month, and then spend much of the final month documenting their work. They must complete two tasks: 1) write a 15,000 to 40,000 word report which displays both technical depth and breadth and 2) defend their research results


Chang, J., & El Salim, A., & Uhlig, R., & Bright, M. (2008, June), Progressive Research On A Wireless Automated Highway System: The Autonet Superproject Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3296

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