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?

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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.
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