The substantial growth of new electrical and electronic components on today's passenger vehicles has required the development of complex distribution systems to service these components. Design of a cost effective, highly reliable electrical distribution system for the modern vehicle has become an exciting challenge to the responsible design engineering activities. An equal challenge in presented to the electronic engineer working in automotive electronics since he must now pay careful attention to the distribution system that will be servicing his components.
This paper provides a point of reference to the electronic designer by examining key factors in the development of an electrical distribution system for a modern automobile. In this discussion, primary emphasis is devoted to the design of a fault protected distribution network that is compatible with the state-of-the-art in automotive component design and assembly processes.