When did cars start having computers?

My daughter is inquisitive and has been asking many car-related questions lately. She asked if our car was basically a computer with wheels and if cars had computers when I was a kid in the 1990s. I said I wasn’t sure. So when did cars start having computers, really?

Find out if you’re getting ripped off on your car insurance in less than two minutes.
No spam · No long forms · No fees
Find savings (100% Free)
rating white
3.5k Ratings
Answer provided by
Matt Terzi
Answered on Jul 19, 2022
It may be hard to believe, but cars started having computers in 1968. Volkswagen introduced the world’s first car computer in a compact car called the Type III. And that wasn’t a small feat, given most computers needed whole rooms to run in those days.
That computer managed the car’s fuel injection system, making it the first electronic fuel injection system to be successfully used in a production car. Attempts at similar systems had been made prior, going as far back as the 1950s, but VW was the first company to pull it off.
From there, computers very quickly found their way into countless cars. By 1980, computers could be found in cars from:
The infotainment screen is older than you may realize, too. The first car to feature a touchscreen was the 1986 Buick Riviera. This system may seem primitive today, but the fact you could control the climate and the radio, and see all sorts of other useful information, was absolutely bonkers back then!
By 1990, every car in production in the Western world had some form of computer, even the last few holdouts that resisted giving up their carburetors. They didn’t have screens or cameras or the ability to automatically keep themselves within a lane, but those computers did make cars more efficient, easier to diagnose, and safer.
The Jerry app highlights how far technology has come, too. It wasn’t all that long ago that shopping for car insurance was a major hassle. Today, this insurance super app helps you save hundreds of dollars per year by finding you quotes in as little as 45 seconds!
Millions of drivers are using the Jerry app to save an average of over $800 per year on car insurance. Give it a try today and see how much money you’ll save!

Here to save on car and home insurance? Great, you do that. We’ll do everything else.

Sign up in under a minute.
No need to fill out forms or shop around. Sign up in 45 seconds to start saving. Jerry does the rest.
Jerry collects and analyzes your current coverage.
Say hello to Jerry, your new insurance agent. We’ll contact your insurance company, review your current plan, then find the coverage that fits your needs and saves you money.
Get the best options before your renewal.
Jerry does all the picky, busy work by comparing prices and coverage from more than 50+ insurance companies. We compare what we find to your current policy and offer you the three best options before every renewal.

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

√
No long forms
√
No spam or unwanted phone calls
√
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free