I had a great post, but then my PC crapped out and I lost it, so here goes:
If your instructor wants some academic/professional studies, that ain't happening. That having been said, several people here (Frodo, Boris, others) were contributors to the new book "Geek My Ride." Even more members, including myself, have done graduate level projects or papers on the subject. We are the experts on this.
The advantages to carputers are preferences rather than something that is quantifiable. Take GPS, for example. There can never be a scientific study that says "GPS is better than MapQuest" because "better" is subjective.
Here is my GPS-related testimonial for you:
I put my first computer in a vehicle in the summer of 2001. One of the first things I bought for it was a serial GPS reciever. I had spent $800 putting this computer in my truck, and the addition of an $80 GPS made it was the best money I ever spent, and put my system in the same category as Pioneer and Alpine units that, at the time, were going for upwards of $3,000.
With a paper map, you have to already know where you are and typically you plan your route before you leave, checking the map after every turn to see where the next one is. With GPS, you always know where you are and your route is dynamically changed on the fly.
If you are using a paper map and you miss a turn or come across something that causes you to alter your route, you have to either pull over and check your map or be very reckless and check it while you are still driving. You have to first locate your position and then figure out how to get to where you need to be.
With computer and GPS, your route is automatically re-calculated, typically with voice instructions. That's less work for me, and it's faster and safer than checking a map every ten minutes.