In-Vehicle Electronics: The components supporting the applications of the future

11th October 2023  |  Automotive

The rapid growth in automotive electronics has led to a detrimental effect on their design complexity. A wide range of both individual and interdependent systems have become expected from modern vehicles, leaving automakers with a significant undertaking.

To manage the advanced design complexity of modern vehicles, designers need access to high-quality components that actively aid them in managing this complexity. In this article, we go into detail on a few examples of these components and unpack how they help designers manage the significant number of in-vehicle electronics.

The growth of in-vehicle electronics

The global automotive software and electronics market is expected to reach $462 billion by 2030, and is being described as the next frontier to transform the industry. These electronics can be separated into a number of groups, with the main ones as follows:

  • Engine & transmission – These are vital electronics that enhance the driving capabilities of the vehicle and oftentimes are necessary for it to operate properly. Fuel injection rate, throttle control, cooling systems and gear shifting are all managed by in-vehicle electronics.
  • Driving assistance – Modern electronics that utilise external sensors and wireless communications with ITS (intelligent transport system) infrastructure to assist in the driving experience. These come in the form of lane assist, park assist, speed assist systems and more.
  • Entertainment – Any device that is dedicated to the entertainment of the driver. These have grown exponentially in recent years, starting from a simple radio or CD player to internal computer systems that can support a range of media.
  • Passenger comfort – In a similar fashion to entertainment electronics, passenger comfort systems are becoming increasingly advanced. Climate control, adaptive seat adjustments and automatic wipers/headlamps all work in unison to maximise the comfort of drivers.

In-vehicle electronics are growing at an alarming rate to fulfil a range of applications, regardless of whether it is for comfort or the operation of the vehicle. A consequence of these electronics is design complexity. Growing electronics are leading to more interdependencies, making the internal design of modern vehicles an advanced undertaking to ensure operational efficiency of each device.

Components that optimise automotive design


Automotive relays are a fundamental component of automotive systems and are responsible for closing or separating electrical circuits. This is often automated, minimising the requirement for expensive and complex components whilst optimising overall design. Whether it is the car alarm or headlights, switches help control their operation without unnecessary complexity.


Automotive harnesses represent the key to effective cable management in internal electronic design. The more devices there are, the greater the number of cables that need to be properly organised. If not, these cables can face damage from environmental factors and high vibrations. Automotive harnesses fasten these cables to dedicated points internally and also provide additional protection where needed.

Terminals and connectors

Automotive terminals are a component of connectors, with the former being responsible for conducting electricity and the latter acting as a protective housing. Terminals and connectors are responsible for integrating electronics into an automotive circuit, and are required for their use as part of internal design. Because of this, high quality connectors and terminals are integral for complex designs, showcasing protective qualities from elements and supporting high-voltage electronics.

Manage design complexity with state-of-the-art components at Dalroad

Dalroad supplies a wide range of automotive components for nearly all automotive-specific environment applications. We supply world-leading connectivity solutions, designed to be tough and durable in harsh environments and support high-voltage electronics in a number of designs.

We’re dedicated to supporting our customers, and our technical team can support you with your project requirements. Contact a member of our team to find out how we can help you optimise your design.

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