Initially electronics components in automobiles were few in number and they could be connected together by ad-hoc networks. And they could be re-designed for each vehicle if needed. But gradually as the customer demand for better comfort, better safety, governments regulatory policies and mandatory fuel efficiency requirements; the number of electronics components and systems incorporated in vehicles are on the raise. But as the number of electronics components and their variety in the automotive application space increased there arose the need for defining some sort of networking standards. The need arose because the cost and complexity of designing ad-hoc networks for each application became too much. Further a standard specification would also make the logistics of part procurement simpler. Due to such compelling reasons automotive networking standards were formulated.
From the onset it was clear that multiple networking standards would be needed. There are different types of services required some are critical like engine control or safety systems; some are non-critical like panel controls or climate control etc; thus there are different networking standards for different functionality in automobiles.
Open standards for in-vehicle data networks have been successfully applied to mass production vehicles. Their successful application have proved time and again their ability to deliver lower system cost, lower vehicle weight, increased reliability, maintainability, and sensor data sharing. The fact that most of the standardized protocols are open have helped push for their universal acceptance and lower costs.