Consumer demand for electronics has now placed the automotive industry under pressure to drive innovation in cars much in the same way we have see innovation in the mobile device industry. There is now an expectation for automobile OEMs to deliver more innovation to market faster - with no increase in cost. This trend is driving up EE content in vehicles, requiring a reduction in design cycle time without passing the cost increases to the consumer.Intrinsic to EE content is the fact that it's impossible to compartmentalize design domains because they are connected in so many different ways. The traditional parallel flows to design software, electronics, networks, and the physical shape of the vehicle are mostly independent of each other and are not suited to deal with interdependency. Unfortunately, this often leads to lengthy design cycles, many iterations, and suboptimal designs.This paper analyzes the principle issues of today's processes and proposes a new approach based on a systems engineering concept which connects the different design domains more efficiently. To illustrate the concepts of digital continuity and design automation, an example using the AUTOSAR standard will be discussed in this paper.