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In order to provide autonomous broadband communications among mobile vehicles, especially in an environment without fixed terrestrial vehicular base stations, a Cognitive Non-Continuous Carrier Interferometry Orthogonal Signal Division Multiplexing (Cognitive NCI-OSDM) transmission system is proposed in this paper. Specifically, Orthogonal Signal Division Multiplexing (OSDM) provides the system with high transmission capacity and good adaptability to variable mobile speeds. Carrier Interferometry (CI) codes make a system with limited Peak to Average Power Ratio (PAPR) of the transmitted signal. The incorporation of adaptive OSDM scheme provides an efficient approach to control Inter-Carrier Interference (ICI). Moreover, the non-continuous scheme is quite suitable in cognitive radio applications. Compared with traditional broadband OFDM-based transmission, such as Non-Continuous OFDM (NC-OFDM) in IEEE802.22, Cognitive NCI-OSDM has advantages of higher transmission capacity and spectrum efficiency, lower ICI, limited PAPR, adaptability to its cognitive environment and variable mobile speed. In this paper, the application system and the structure of Cognitive NCI-OSDM transmission is proposed for autonomous vehicular communications. Furthermore, the performance is evaluated, including the Bit Error Rate (BER), throughput, PAPR and Power of Inter-Carrier Interference (PICI). Finally, the system complexity, which is considered as the potential drawback when compared with an OFDM-based system, is investigated and confirmed to be controllable. The results reported in this paper show the promise of the proposed cognitive NCI-OSDM system and identify some possibilities for its future application in autonomous vehicular communications.