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The history of microcomputer application in automotive electronics is briefly reviewed. American, Japanese, and European automobile manufacturer's microcomputer products are considered, and representative production designs are compared. Differences in approaches and problem solutions are examined. The chronological introduction of microcomputer-controlled functions is presented for engine, transmission, entertainment/comfort/convenience, and instrument panel control. Growth trends are noted for each category, and future automotive microcomputer applications are discussed. Projections are made of future semiconductor VLSI technology and automotive microcomputers.