The development of vehicle communication networks is challenged not only by the increasing demand in data exchange and required data rate but also the need to connect the vehicle to external sources for personal connectivity of driver and car to infrastructure applications.Solutions are required to master complexity of in-vehicle communication networks, e.g. diagnostic access, flashing of Electronic Control Units, the data backbone connecting the vehicle domains and the data transfer of cameras. Safety (data transfer) and security (violation) issues of the communication networks gain more importance especially by introducing interfaces to external sources either via mobile devices or by connecting the vehicle to other external sources, e.g. Internet and Car to Infrastructure applications.The Internet Protocol (IP) appears to be an ideal solution to address these challenges, especially in connection with an Ethernet physical layer for fast data transfer. IP is well established for different applications in consumer electronics. Still the transfer of IP technology into automotive applications requires standardized solutions for different communication layers.This paper evaluates the relevant aspects to be considered in introducing Ethernet and IP for the different applications in the vehicle communication network. It concludes with a trend roadmap for the introduction of Ethernet and IP in vehicle applications and the necessary standardization that is needed to achieve a cost effective solution for the automotive industry.