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Understanding Automotive Electronics - 7th Edition - ISBN: 9780080970974, 9780080970981

Understanding Automotive Electronics

7th Edition

An Engineering Perspective

Author: William Ribbens
eBook ISBN: 9780080970981
Hardcover ISBN: 9780080970974
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 17th December 2012
Page Count: 616
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Understanding Automotive Electronics is the first port of call for control engineers, system engineers and electronic engineers in the automotive industry needing a thorough grounding in automotive electronics and control.

From simple automotive electronic circuits to the latest developments in telematics, active safety, entertainment and communications, the book is also an ideal resource for more senior automotive engineers without a background in electronics or control needing to work in the area or supervise specialists.

Thoroughly updated throughout, this new edition moves away from introductory mechanic-level electronics to cover more hot topics such as transmission control, hybrid control, AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture) and vehicle networks.

Key Features

  • Comprehensive coverage of automotive electronics and control, including the latest technology in telematics, active safety, entertainment and communications
  • Covers the topic from an engineering perspective rather than a technician or mechanic-focused trouble-shooting level
  • Ideal as a conversion tool for control and electronic engineers moving into the automotive industry and a valuable reference for all automotive engineers without an electronics background needing to understand this far-reaching topic


Control and system engineers, technicians and electrical engineers entering the automotive field. Senior engineers without electronics/ control background supervising specialists.

Table of Contents




Chapter 1. The Systems Approach to Control and Instrumentation

Chapter Overview

Concept of a System

Linear System Theory: Continuous Time

Steady-State Sinusoidal Frequency Response of a System

State Variable Formulation of Models

Control Theory

Stability of Control System

Closed-Loop Limit-Cycle Control


Basic Measurement System


Chapter 2. Discrete Time Systems Theory

Digital Subsystem

Sinusoidal Frequency Response

Discrete Time Control System

Closed Loop Control

Example Discrete Time Control System


Chapter 3. Electronics Fundamentals

Semiconductor Devices

Rectifier Circuit

Integrated Circuits

Use of Feedback in Op Amps

Summing Mode Amplifier

Digital Circuits

Binary Number System

Logic Circuits (Combinatorial)

Logic Circuits with Memory (Sequential)

Synchronous Counter

Integrated Circuits

The Microprocessor

Chapter 4. Microcomputer Instrumentation and Control

Microcomputer Fundamentals

Microcomputer Tasks

Microcomputer Operations

CPU Registers

Reading Instructions

Example Use of a Microcomputer

Programming Languages

Microcomputer Hardware

Microcomputer Applications in Automotive Systems

Instrumentation Applications of Microcomputers

Microcomputers in Control Systems

Chapter 5. The Basics of Electronic Engine Control

Motivation for Electronic Engine Control

Exhaust Emissions

Fuel Economy

Federal Government Test Procedures

Concept of an Electronic Engine Control System

Definition of Engine Performance Terms

Exhaust Catalytic Converters

Electronic Fuel-Control System

Analysis of Intake Manifold Pressure

Idle Speed Control

Electronic Ignition

Chapter 6. Sensors and Actuators

Automotive Control System Applications of Sensors and Actuators

Throttle Angle Sensor

Temperature Sensors

Typical Coolant Sensor

Sensors for Feedback Control

Knock Sensors

Automotive Engine Control Actuators

Variable Valve Timing

Electric Motor Actuators

Stepper Motors

Ignition System

Chapter 7. Digital Powertrain Control Systems


Digital Engine Control

Digital Engine Control Features

Control Modes for Fuel Control

Discrete Time Idle Speed Control

EGR Control

Variable Valve Timing Control

Electronic Ignition Control

Integrated Engine Control System

Summary of Control Modes

Chapter 8. Vehicle-Motion Controls

Representative Cruise Control System

Cruise Control Electronics

Antilock Braking System

Electronic Suspension System

Electronic Steering Control

Four-Wheel Steering


Chapter 9. Automotive Instrumentation and Telematics

Modern Automotive Instrumentation

Input and Output Signal Conversion

Advantages of Computer-Based Instrumentation

Display Devices




Fuel Quantity Measurement

Coolant Temperature Measurement

Oil Pressure Measurement

Vehicle Speed Measurement

High-Speed Digital Communications (CAN)

Trip Information Computer


GPS Navigation

The GPS System Structure

Automotive Diagnostics

Chapter 10. Diagnostics and Occupant Protection

Electronic Control System Diagnostics

Service Bay Diagnostic Tool

Onboard Diagnostics

Model-Based Sensor Failure Detection

Diagnostic Fault Codes

Onboard Diagnosis (OBD II)

Model-Based Misfire Detection System

Expert Systems in Automotive Diagnosis

Occupant Protection Systems


Quiz questions

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10



No. of pages:
© Butterworth-Heinemann 2013
17th December 2012
eBook ISBN:
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Author

William Ribbens

Professor Ribbens received his B.S.E.E. degree in 1960, his M.S.E.E. degree in 1961, and his Ph.D. degree in 1965, all from the University of Michigan. From 1962-69, he was an assistant research engineer, associate research engineer, and research engineer. He was appointed assistant professor in 1969 and was promoted to associate professor in 1972 and professor in 1993. He was appointed professor of aerospace engineering in 1995. His research most recently has focused on electronic systems and devices that are applicable to all vehicles. His particular emphasis has been on engine control applications, mathematical models for drive-train systems, computer-assisted diagnostics for electronically controlled engines, and failure detection systems. His work in these areas has substantially advanced the art of automotive electronics, and he is recognized as a world leader in this area. He served on the Hitachi Science Board, a distinction given to few U.S. academics. He was also a visiting scientist at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, General Motors Technical Center, and the Technical University of Berlin.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor Emeritus of Electronic Engineering at the University of Michigan; Past Director, Vehicular Electronics Laboratory, University of Michigan

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