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Technical Paper

Automotive Electronics – What Makes it So Special?

Automotive electronics consists of advanced sensors, control units, and “mechatronic“ actuators forming increasingly complex, networked vehicle systems. The article shows typical requirements for automotive electronic systems and their components. While quantities are typically lower than in mainstream (consumer/telecommunication/computer) electronics applications, requirements regarding safety (flawless design), reliability and durability, operating conditions and temperature cycles, as well as long-term supply capability are much higher. As a consequence, automotive electronics is typically using well-proven technologies derived from mainstream electronics with some time delay regarding their introduction. In addition, automotive specific technologies have been developed for highly integrated control units and “mechatronic” actuators. Some recent examples are given. The paper closes with a vision regarding further developments and trends in Automotive Electronics.
Technical Paper

Increased Safety and Improved Comfort Thanks to Electronic Systems for Bus and Truck Applications

Electronic systems have been used in commercial vehicles for quite a few years now. At the start, this primarily related to consumer electronics equipment (car radio and CB radio), but, since the late 70s, electronic control systems have also been used for a wide variety of applications in commercial vehicles. This development went hand in hand with the development of digital microcontrollers. It was only when such powerful electronic circuits were developed that it was possible to implement complex control tasks at feasible cost with adequately compact design. Nowadays, an extremely wide variety of systems is offered for the engine, suspension, brakes, comfort and entertainment.