Software Defined Vehicle

Objective: Research and design a cost-effective vehicle electronic architecture focused around supporting software defined through-life capabilities.
Challenge: Design a highly generic and efficient architecture using only open standards, expanded hardware and software supply chain, and no proprietary or bespoke components.

The Software Defined Vehicle (SDV) is a concept vehicle platform design concept focused on simplifying, generalising, and standardising hardware & software components of a complex mobile (vehicle) platform, and enabling software-based capabilities, system development & operation, and through-life upgrades.

The system design is heavily based on safety and security, and modularity for rapid updating and upgrading. The SDV concept design is considered suitable for a diverse range of complex mobile platforms such as commercial vehicles, autonomous mobile platforms, and manned/unmanned military vehicles.

Concept Principles

  • Decouple Software and Hardware components and have minimal to no interdependencies, to allow asynchronous, rapid, and cost-effective refresh, update, upgrade, and re-development cycles.
  • Use standardised abstraction and middleware layers to support black-box commercial OEM component integration.
  • Design primarily for machine-based control and system operation.
  • Concurrently develop and evaluate each component independently and as an integrated system.

Design Principles

  • Non-proprietary and widely available network communication protocols
    Based on IPv6 and IPsec and incorporation of other advanced upcoming technologies.
  • Support application based capability (APPSTORE)
    Fully abstract the underlying hardware & software systems and enable black-box design of capabilities.
  • Extended security evaluation
    Open up system design for public review from early stage using open access test-beds.

Core Modules

Each module is considered independent, transparently replaceable, and able to inter-communicate directly.
  • SDVbase
    Base / core platform system and electronic architecture.
  • SDVcs
    Crew Station system and electronic architecture.
  • SDVnet
    Network communication design principles, protocols, abstraction, middleware, etc.
  • SDVss
    Safety and security core middleware.
  • SDVsa
    Situational awareness sensors subsystem.
  • SDVdas (military platforms only)
    Defencive Aid Suites subsystem.


  • Mechanical, structural, and electrical aspects are out-of-scope.

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