How can car manufacturers, which are primary mechanical engineers, become software specialists? This is a question of prime importance for car electronics in the future. Modern vehicles offer a large number of electronic and software based functions to achieve a high level of safety, fuel economy, comfort, entertainment and security which are developed under pressure of regulations, of consumers needs and of competitive time to market aspects. This contribution draws a picture, what could be important in future for in car communication and information system in terms of development process, HW & SW architectures, partnerships in automotive industry and security of industrial properties. For this purpose the automotive development is reviewed and actual examples of system designs are given.