Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr. Thomas O'Neill

Second Advisor

Professor Anthony Watson


Vehicle management may be considered to consist of traffic management, usage control, maintenance, and security. Various regulatory authorities undertake the first aspect, fleet managers will be concerned with all aspects, and owner-drivers will be interested mainly in maintenance and security. Car theft poses a universal security problem. Personalisation, including navigational assistance, might be achieved as a by-product of an improved management system. Authorities and fleet managers may find smartcards to be key components of an improved system, but owners may feel that the need for improved security does not justify its cost. This thesis seeks to determine whether smartcards may be used to personalise vehicles in order to improve vehicle management within a forseeable time and suggest when it might happen. In the process four broad questions are addressed. • First, what improvements in technology are needed to make any improved scheme using smartcards practicable, and what can be expected in the near future? • Second, what problems and difficulties may impede the development of improved management? • Third, what non-vehicle applications might create an environment in which a viable scheme could emerge? • Finally, is there a perceived need for improved vehicle management? The method involved a literature search, the issue of questionnaires to owner drivers and fleet managers, discussions with fleet managers, the preparation of data-flow and state diagrams, and the construction of a simulation of a possible security approach. The study concludes that although vehicle personalisation is possible- and desirable it is unlikely to occur within the next decade because the environment needed to make it practicable will not emerge until a number of commercial and standardisation problems that obstruct all smartcard applications have been solved.