Faced with the necessity of controlling of emissions and improved mileage, the automotive industry is turning to the increased use of semiconductor electronics. This paper describes the trends in semiconductor technology over the past two decades, and projects these trends out through the mid-1980's. A systems approach to the design of automotive electronics utilizing a digital information system is presented. The benefits in performance and reliability improvements together with reduced costs are defined. A strategic approach to implementing this digital information systems approach into automotive systems is presented.