Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Engineering


Electrical & Computer Engineering


Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering


Schmalzel, John


Controller Area Network (Computer network); Police vehicles; Police--Equipment and supplies


Electrical and Computer Engineering


With increasing technology inside automobiles, especially law enforcement vehicles, there is a growing need for centralized wiring and device interconnection methods. Each new technology, such as GPS navigation units and in-vehicle video systems, includes a corresponding wiring harness that needs installation. The summation of all these hardwired technologies leads to large volumes of wire that negatively affect safety, power demands, and future design opportunities. A new trend among automotive manufacturers is to design and implement innovative networks that allow for shared communications between technologies.

This thesis presents the design, development, and implementation of an in-vehicle network that will centralize connections involved with the New Jersey State Police's pursuit light package currently installed in their troop cars. The intent is to show that if the wiring involved with such a system can be reduced, then other systems can follow suit. The network used is the controller area network (CAN) that was developed in the 1980s by Bosch. The work presented in this thesis is supported through the joint sponsorship of the New Jersey State Police (NJSP), New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Promising results have been obtained using this approach and should improve driver safety and assist NJSP with technology modernization and management within their fleet of troop cars.