ELECTRONICS ARE rapidly becoming the biggest cost item in an automobile. Traditionally the powertrain has been about a fourth of a car's cost. By 2010, electronics will be 22 percent of manufacturing cost, predicts supplier TRW. Today, electronics are 15 percent.
Growth will come on many fronts. Anti-lock brakes will approach saturation in 10 years; navigation equipment and electronic power steering will become common.
We asked six electronics suppliers to tell us about their favorite features that could gain wider acceptance.