Electronics has been providing custom features, increased reliability, extended component life and, in general, solving complex automotive problems since the first solid state radios and voltage regulators were introduced into the automotive environment in the early 60's. More recently, microprocessors, solid state sensors and power electronics have dramatically added to the number of automotive applications. Multipoint fuel injection, anti-skid brake systems and electronic transmissions are made possible only by the availability of highly reliable and cost effective electronic components.Significant advances are occurring in the area of power electronics which will further enhance future vehicles' safety, performance, economy and comfort. This paper will discuss a number of devices and their potential application to existing and future automotive systems. In the electronics industry, these devices are generally regarded as smartpower devices since they provide the system designer with components which provide a function and often have control, self-protection and diagnostic features as an integral part of the device. A number of different approaches will be presented which utilize silicon processing technology and new packaging techniques.