The new generation of intelligent transportation systems (ITS)
for the car is bringing fundamental changes in the life cycle of
in-vehicle electronics and the vehicle as a whole.
The first change is a trend toward an application suite in the
car in which general purpose and function specific devices will be
interconnected via an in-vehicle databus. The modularization of
devices, their simple interconnectability, and the existence of
software for central application management means that
application-oriented in-vehicle functionality can be expanded,
updated, enhanced, and reconfigured throughout the life of the
Second, a significant component of many in-vehicle ITS products
is the map database that helps to determine vehicle location and
route guidance. Unlike most in-vehicle components, the map database
must be periodically updated in order to remain effective. This is
not the same as changing the oil; oil is essentially fungible and
has a long shelf-life.
Updating the map database means getting the correct, up-to-date
database to the right vehicle. The process of assur existence of an
appropriate current database in the car represents a new style of
vehicle maintenance for which understanding, processes, and
channels must all be devised.
T. Russell Shields
1998 International Congress on Transportation Electronics