What are the Purposes of Vehicle Computers

The first computers began to be used in automobiles in the 1970s to perform basic functions such as gearbox shifting and ignition timing. In the modern world, vehicles owe their smooth operation to more than 50 microprocessor in-vehicle computers. On-board computers help drivers in a wide range of tasks, from securing the vehicle to saving fuel, from navigation to assisted braking, and make driving fun. This new technology has also saved many lives when it comes to accidents. Vehicles today are rapidly turning into a computer on wheels.

So what are all these computers in vehicles actually doing? It is possible to divide their aims into a few simple categories.

Vehicle Computers

Advanced Diagnostics

The biggest benefits of the large number of sensors and microprocessors in your vehicle are that it is now very easy to determine the causes of problems your vehicle is experiencing. Sensors are used to observe and detect a wide range of different systems, including fuel / air mixture, sparks and much more. When one of these sensors detects any problems, it usually causes an dashboard light, such as a check engine light, to come on.


In vehiche computers used in many vehicle entertainment and information systems such as GPS, video games, TVs, Internet radio and bluetooth compatibility. In-vehicle computers are very convenient, for example, to keep children busy or to create a hands-free environment while using your phone or music player, ensuring a safe ride. Today's on-board computers offer much more than a ride for everyone and also act as a source of entertainment.


The use of computers in vehicles has made transportation much safer than before. Airbags, assisted braking, rear view cameras and more are activated by computer sensors that detect problems in the smallest fraction of a second. This is why airbags can be deployed faster than the actual event of the collision.

  • ABS

Automatic braking systems (ABS) are a standard feature on most modern cars. If you don’t respond to a sudden braking situation fast enough your ABS works to help you avoid a crash, and reduce the severity of a crash. The system essentially works to have the car’s computer take over and brake for the driver.

  • Backup Cameras

Backup cameras are becoming more and more commonplace in the cars on the road. These backup cameras can provide aid to the driver when getting in and out of parking spaces and driveways. These cameras are designed to help drivers avoid backup collisions.

Emission Controls

Another great benefit of in-car computers is that they help reduce pollution. Automakers are using in-car computers to ensure less smoke generation, which saves drivers time and money while also helping to protect the environment. On-board computers ensure that regulations for emission and fuel efficiency standards are properly met.

Before the emission laws were passed, it was possible to build a car without a computer. But now, due to the new laws, all vehicles have at least one computer system called ECM. This system is responsible for monitoring engine emissions and adjusting the vehicle engine to keep emission levels low. This system receives the following information from different sensors in the vehicle;

  • Oxygen Sensor
  • Air Pressure Sensor
  • Air Temperature Sensor
  • Engine Temperature Sensor
  • Throttle Position Sensor
  • Knock Sensor

Using information from these different sensors, the on-board computer organizes different systems such as fuel injectors, spark plugs, idle speed, and more. Thanks to these regulations, your vehicle can keep emissions as low as possible.

It can be said that the automotive industry is experiencing one of the biggest periods of change. There are an increasing number of computers inside vehicles to power new technology, and this trend does not seem to be slowing down.

It would not be wrong to say that modern vehicles, especially high-quality, luxury vehicles and cars with more features for driver comfort and convenience have now become massive computer systems that drive on wheels. The more comfort you want to have in your car, the more computer technology you need to use.


Lanner Electronics: https://www.lannerinc.com

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