1998-10-19

TodayS Electronics in TodayS Vehicles 98C028

Historically, the long development time required to produce a new automobile has meant that the electronics in that vehicle might lag the state-of-the-art by several years. For traditional vehicle electronics, this was certainly an appropriate delay, ensuring through extensive testing and qualification that the quality and reliability of the electronic systems met rigorous standards. However, with the growing consumer-oriented electronics content in today's vehicles, it is becoming more difficult for the automotive manufacturers to meet consumers' expectations with older technology. Couple this with the fast-paced consumer product cycle, typically nine to eighteen and the result is increasing pressure on the vehicle manufacturers from after-market electronics suppliers, who can update their product lines as fast as the component manufacturers can produce new models.
One of the technologies emerging from the Society of Automotive Engineers' (SAE) intelligent transportation systems (ITS) efforts may provide the automotive manufacturers with a solution for bridging the disparity between the automotive and consumer component development cycles. The ITS data bus (IDB), a serial communication bus being defined jointly by the SAE and the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA), is intended to provide a common network interface for consumer components which may be integrated into ITS-related systems in vehicles. This paper will discuss this trend in automotive electronics, and how the IDB will enable the automotive manufacturers to make consumer-oriented electronic component decisions at anytime during the life cycle of the vehicle, ensuring their ability to provide their customers with attractive, state-of-the-art technology in their vehicles

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