Design Automation usually refers to electronic design automation, or Design Automation which is a Product Configurator. Extending Computer-Aided Design (CAD), automated design and Computer-Automated Design (CAutoD)  are more concerned with a broader range of applications, such as automotive engineering, civil engineering, composite material design, control engineering, dynamic system identification, financial systems, industrial equipment, mechatronic systems, steel construction, structural optimisation, and the invention of novel systems.
The concept of CAutoD perhaps first appeared in 1963, in the IBM Journal of Research and Development , where a computer program was written.
(1) to search for logic circuits having certain constraints on hardware design and
(2) to evaluate these logics in terms of their discriminating ability over samples of the character set they are expected to recognize.
More recently, traditional CAD simulation is seen to be transformed to CAutoD by biologically-inspired machine learning or search techniques such as evolutionary computation, including swarm intelligence algorithms.