Forty years ago a number of high schools offered basic autoshop classes so that students could learn how to maintain their own cars, thus learning valuable skills and saving on ownership costs. Essential skills gained including setting points, fine-tuning carburetors and adjusting engine timing. These classes are no longer part of the curriculum because cars have become more complex over time. Specifically, computers have been implemented both to take over basic essential engine functions and to drive advanced safety and consumer smart features. Here are a few of the noteworthy tasks computers perform in today’s drivers.
Heart of the Drivetrain
Those computers that control engine functions may be termed electronic control modules. They contain printed circuit boards in San Jose, which are the brains of every auto computer system. Historically, computer controls were partnered with engines and transmissions before other systems due to the need for increased efficiency, as required by newer emission and gas mileage standards. For example, when fuel-injection units replaced carburetors they relied on computers to feed extremely precise fuel patterns into combustion chambers.
Progress in Safety
Evolving safety regulations require microsecond calculations involving sensors and extremely powerful processing units. Initially, airbags and anti-lock brakes represented cutting edge protection systems. Currently, computers run whole suites of interlocking safety systems: automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control and other advanced features.
Now, almost every new car hosts smart technologies. At one level, vehicle central processor units pair with connected media devices. The resulting processes range from streaming music playlists to mapping driving routes. More incredibly, the present and future are beginning to align as manufacturers are rapidly developing self-driving, autonomous cars that rely on powerful printed circuit boards.
Cars have developed into machines with capabilities few could have imagined just a few decades ago. These advancements were made possible only as computing technology progressed exponentially.