The development times and costs of control strategy software have been under intense scrutiny by automotive manufacturers and suppliers. The time required to produce, optimize, calibrate, and verify a vehicle's control software has become an inhibiting process to deploying proof of concept vehicles. To eliminate this bottleneck the vehicle manufacturers and suppliers are turning to sophisticated graphical modeling and code generation tools to accelerate control software development programs. In addition, vehicle manufacturers are also increasing the use of distributed controllers which, in addition to their numerous other benefits, can also allow simultaneous development of various control systems and thereby reduce the total control system development time.This paper describes how a specific modeling tool, MATRIXx, from Integrated Systems, Inc., can be applied to rapidly develop automotive control software for a family of rapid prototype controllers from Motorola's Automotive Industrial Electronics Group. The work described will show how the modeling tool can be used to specify communication between the distributed controllers using CAN and J1850 standards. In addition to supporting communications interfaces, the modeling tools and controller hardware also support additional advanced features, such as low-power operating modes, storing and moving data to and from non-volatile memory, and also interfacing to sophisticated automotive calibration tools. Finally, the application of these hardware and software development tools to an automotive system will be described along with ways that these tools can reduce control system deployment time.