Car design involves so many different aspects of industrial design. Not only does it for external or internal designs, which will be the visible part of the iceberg, but it also does about non automotive design since nowadays no one would consider to buy a car by only comparing or inspecting its external shape, surfaces, lines, colors of different car parts and the like or its internal setting out, used materials or maybe luxury.
We are now so used to use new gadgetry, e.g. MP3 or MPEG-4 players, smart phones, GPS navigation and all those kinds of mobile devices and their intuitive interfaces, that we do appreciate to find some of these being present in our cars. Really, such mobile gadgetry is a very good candidate for being embedded within vehicles (remember, vehicles are mobile objects!) We could even add to such mobile devices: HD or satellite radio and mobile TV (please avoid watching TV while driving).
Here we are: this is a new challenge for car designers. Of course, vibrations, heat and cold temperatures are very aggressive enemies for electronic devices, but embedded digital mobile devices are also required to perfectly work while international digital standards are quickly evolving, including a control unit. Not only the proper choices have to be made about electronic devices at design time but also a very specific knowledge is required and has to be constantly kept updated. New standards may have to be later introduced in these dash-top devices while their compliance with further evolutions of standards has to be ensured.