Car makers began embedding electronic control units, or ECUs, in cars more than 30 years ago. These simple little computers were developed during the first gas crisis. Initially, they were used as tiny computerized carburetors.
"Engineers figured out that computers were much better at figuring out how to mix gas and air than a mechanical device," Valasek says. "They were much more efficient and you could get better gas mileage."
But soon these little computers were being used for a lot of things, like cruise control or anti-lock brakes. : All Tech Considered : NPR
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