An Overview of In-Car Information Systems

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Recently, automotive electronics have undergone a revolution, in the same way that the home PC has revolutionised the way we work and communicate. The field is one of the most interesting and varied of all information System topics.
Since the late 80s, the term 'on-board computer' (or OBC) is an item many prospective buyers have checked on the options list when purchasing a new car.


However, these devices, which have little to do with the actual driving of the car, are becoming more and more advanced - presenting many problems for designers and users alike. The permanently increasing complexity of in-car electronics and the rapidly growing amount of sensors, actuators and electronic control units, make the data increasingly more difficult to keep secure, correct and failsafe.
In a recent survey carried out by Goldman Sachs in America, there are approximately 200 million cars in the United States and an incredible 500 million passenger hours each week is spent inside them. In another survey, Delphi Automotive research found that more than a third of PDA owners use their PDA's whilst driving and that almost half of all US motorists would like the facility to access their e-mail whilst on the road.2
Car makers are, of course, nervous about motorists not paying attention to the road and having accidents, as well as the remote possibility of a glitch in the add-on electronics triggering a brake seizure or engine shutdown. ...
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