The evolution of the auto

Control engineers' input: In the last ten to fifteen years, cars have been changing by leaps and bounds; they may not have evolved much in the way of aesthetics, but what’s contained within them has drastically changed.

05/03/2012



The influence of Control Engineers is something that cannot be overlooked. We have made incredibly complex processes so easy, that they are finding their way into most every product we use. Thanks to engineers, these technologies can be found in our home computers, the cell phones we use daily, even in what we drive to work each day.

Let’s start with the past… okay, not that far back. In the late 1970s, car manufacturers began to include circuit boards to control ignition timing and spark. Due to the age of the technology being installed, these circuit boards would burn out within several years and weren’t really utilized until the mid-1980s, when the technology grew a bit more reliable and actually became a standard to integrated circuit controlled fuel injection systems.

Throughout the late 1980s and 90s, the onboard computer’s tasks seemed to grow yearly: provide on-board diagnostics, control most of the electrical processes in automobiles, tweaking engine performance, and covering braking systems, climate controls, and even the odometer.

In the 2000s, cars have been tasked with handling even more to make life easier for its’ passengers. The addition of navigation, music streaming, and pairing of mobile phones has made more complicated onboard computing necessary. In recent years, major automobile manufactures have added voice control to further assist our everyday tasks. Even receiving diagnostics, which once required an external computer, can now be done so with our cell phones!

Watch the Model T in action

Watch the evolution of the aesthetics of cars

Learn more about how car computers work

Read other Engineering at 30 Frames posts or contribute to the discussion.



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Motor specification guidelines; Understanding multivariable control; Improving a safety instrumented system; 2017 Engineers' Choice Award Winners
Selecting the best controller from several viewpoints; System integrator advice for the IIoT; TSN and real-time Ethernet; Questions to ask when selecting a VFD; Action items for an aging PLC/DCS
Robot advances in connectivity, collaboration, and programming; Advanced process control; Industrial wireless developments; Multiplatform system integration
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.

(copy 5)

click me