Demanding competition among vehicles in today’s market has led to very similar feature content across vehicles in the same segment. The distinguishing characteristics therefore must be how the features are accessed and utilized by the occupants, or more clearly the Human Machine Interface (HMI). Designing embedded products for this type of automotive market presents several interesting challenges and significant system level opportunities.Challenges arise in how to effectively separate the HMI from the actual functionality of the electronic module. Separation of presentation and control from algorithm and computation is a mature computer science domain. Appling this strategy to the embedded products in vehicles provides the challenge of how to uncouple the HMI software within a single module. In addition, the opportunities for how to re-deploy the HMI software within that same module or into a set of distributed modules will impact product reusability and development costs.This paper will discuss the advantages of an in-vehicle software and system architecture that separates the HMI effectively. In addition, a comprehensive set of processes and tools for achieving a successful architectural design will be presented.