Automotive electronics are electronic systems used in vehicles, including engine management, ignition, radio, computers, telematics, in-car entertainment systems, and others. Ignition, engine and transmission electronics are also found in trucks, motorcycles, off-road vehicles, and other internal combustion-powered machinery such as forklifts, tractors and excavators. Related elements for control of relevant electrical systems are also found in hybrid vehicles and electric cars.
Modern electric cars rely on power electronics for the main propulsion motor control, as well as managing the battery system. Future autonomous cars will rely on powerful computer systems, an array of sensors, networking, and satellite navigation, all of which will require electronics.
Even basic vehicles have at least 30 of these microprocessor-controlled devices, known as electronic control units, and some luxury cars have as many as 100. These electronic brains control dozens of functions, including brake and cruise control and entertainment systems.
Automotive electronics has gained importance on account of the growing consumer demand for performance, safety, comfort and entertainment. The car of the future is also expected to be equipped with even more advanced features that would help prevent accidents, entertain occupants and at the same time is eco-friendly.
42 volts is an approximation of the output of the new standard's charging system. The present nominally 12 V automotive electrical system usually operates around 13.8 volts, so 14 V is descriptive.
Most electronic gadgets used at home including cars, use DC internally. Therefore, it has to convert the AC current from the outlet into DC.
A fossil-fuel-powered car can technically run without any aid of electricity, it just can't start. An integral part of the engine is the electric spark plug which has the job of igniting the combustion engine (that's why it's called the “ignition”).
The average car today can have between 25 and 50 central processing units (CPUs) controlling these functions and more, often networked but sometimes operating independently.
Switching transistors can be found in solid-state control modules and computers. They control devices on the car such as the fuel injector in an EFI car or a mechanical relay that operates the retract motor on a car with retractable headlights.