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30 The PCB Magazine • October 2014 As I was thinking of ideas for this article, a funny throwback commercial played on TV. It was a commercial for AutoTrader in which Bo and Luke Duke from "The Dukes of Hazard" were being chased in their 1969 Dodge Charger, the General Lee. However, it was set in current times, which meant the police cars chasing them were much faster than those in the original epi - sodes. During the chase, the Duke boys identify technologies such as backup cameras, Bluetooth, and GPS that could have helped them out. Thinking back to just 10 years ago, the list of technologies added to vehicles is quite amaz- ing: electronic stability control, GPS, Bluetooth, drive by wire, adaptive cruise, etc. The next wave of technologies (driverless vehicles, self- parking, anticipatory braking, etc.) makes use of those new base technologies in ways that we would only think of seeing in movies. As a North American PCB fabricator, I find it obvious that this is a market that's worth target- ing or, at the very least, exploring for opportu- nities. As such, exploring this market will be the focus of this piece. Industry Background In the 1970s, the electronics content of the av- erage automobile was close to $100. The content began increasing in the late 1970s as a result of new government mandates regarding emissions and fuel economy, which couldn't be accom- plished with mechanical or electro-mechanical components. This push, coupled with advance- ments in semiconductors that allowed more out- put at decreasing cost, resulted in an ever-increas- ing amount of electronics content in subsequent years. By the early 2000s the average vehicle con- tained about $1,500 worth of electronics content. Since then, some of the newer base technologies such as advanced infotainment and GPS became more commonplace, pushing electronics content to over $2,000 by 2013. by Yash Sutariya alPha CirCuit CorPoration PCBs for Automobiles: What to Wear to the Party? f e a t u r e

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