Summer Internship: Investigation into Vehicle Area Networks (VAN)

Installation practices for putting a mobile radio into a vehicle haven't changed very much in decades. However vehicles have. This has resulted in the cost of installing a radio to increase significantly. So much so that it is starting to be a concern for some buyers.

These days the vehicle is a computing network with many different types of technologies used to provide the driver and passengers with vehicle information, entertainment and connectivity. 

The goal of this project is to:

  • Gain an understanding of the installation process and the problems that installers typically have.
  • Understand the technologies common to most vehicles and determine how they can be used to make the mobile radio installation not only simpler (i.e. cheaper) but also how the radio might utilise them to create new applications and features.

Latest generation Mobile Radios are now much more than just a voice communication device. Modern mobile radios use a digital air interface, and are capable of passing both voice and data from the vehicles they are installed in to the mobile radio network. One of the challenges is how to pass information from various data sources (including sensors etc.), many of these which may be mounted in a different part of the vehicle to the mobile radio.

In order to answer this question, it is proposed the student project investigates the feasibility of various techniques in order to make a practical installation of a Vehicle Area Network of devices, one element of which is a Digital Mobile Radio.

Challenges will include:

  • How to connect many devices mounted in different areas of a vehicle in the most practical way for an installer.
  • How to make the solution generic – i.e. suitable for most vehicles from most automotive manufacturers.
  • How to overcome the shielding effects of a vehicle's metal body / chassis.
  • How to easily interface with a digital mobile radio.
  • Managing data rates / edge processing etc.
  • Design for robustness and fault tolerance.

The ideal candidate will have an interest, and ideally some interest and experience in both embedded software, hardware design (digital and analogue).

Our Clients protect communities, power cities, move citizens, harness resources and save lives all over the world. We work with them to create and support the critical communication solution they depend on to do their jobs.

Digital wireless communications forms the central nervous system of everything we do. We design and manage innovative communication environments for organisations that have to put their total trust in the systems and people they work with.

We make sure that public safety agencies have a wireless communication network that is robust enough to keep their front-line officers informed and safe. We provide solutions for electrical utilities companies that help them keep the power on. In short, we develop communications solutions that are used at the sharp end around the world.

This understanding, and our belief in championing open-standards technology, means we can give our clients the best possible choice and value to achieve the human outcomes they're driven by.

It is easy to see why we are devoted to our customers cause. To understand how, check out

This is a fixed term summer-vacation position.

Eligible Interns Must:

To be eligible for a placement, students must:

  • Have completed their penultimate or final year of an undergraduate or honours degree, a postgraduate diploma or certificate, or co-joint undergraduate degrees.
  • Be studying science, technology, engineering, design or business at a New Zealand university or tertiary institute.
  • Be a New Zealand citizen or resident or hold a relevant visa.
  • Not have been employed at the business or in the industry under a professional arrangement.