Communication is essential for making the internal operations of a fleet more efficient, and CAN bus technology facilitates it to a large degree. CAN bus is standard in most modern vehicles, from cars, trucks, buses, electric vehicles (EVs), and even ships.

How do CAN Bus Systems Work?

Electronic control units (ECUs) are at the very centre of CAN bus systems. ECUs are embedded within automobiles and are interconnected with one or more of the electric systems present. They receive and share data relating to a vehicle’s engine, speed, battery system, anti-lock braking system (ABS), safety measures, electronic fuel injection, gearbox, tire pressure, and fuel level.

In essence, ECUs retrieve and format vehicle sensor data before transmitting it over CAN bus. The specific details are then accepted by the ECUs to be either ignored, or collected and subsequently responded to.

For instance, the ECU for the engine might ignore data from a vehicle’s tire pressure sensors if it is not moving. Whereas, the ECU for the anti-lock braking system will pick up data from the wheel speed sensors and respond by activating the ABS system if a wheel starts to lock up.

CAN Frame Types

The communication between a vehicle’s ECUs across CAN bus occurs through CAN frames. In total, there are four types of CAN frames to be aware of:

  • Data frame: data frames perform data transmission and have two message formats.
  • Remote frame: remote frames make it possible for destination nodes to request data from a source node.
  • Overload frame: overload frames inject a delay between data and remote frames when a CAN node is receiving messages too fast.
  • Error frame: error frames are generated when a node detects an error in a message.

Why is CAN Bus Important?

CAN bus is so important because it has several applications for fleet managers. Fundamentally, it gives fleet managers a way of logging vehicle data in the cloud, data which translates to actionable insights for reducing fuel costs, improving driving behaviour, increasing compliance, increasing safety, and decreasing downtime. As such, CAN bus use cases effectively work to comprehensively improve the performance of a vehicle fleet.

The Benefits of CAN Bus

The benefits of CAN bus include the fact that it is:

  • Efficient - CAN bus is able to transmit data at speeds much faster than other automotive communication protocols, meaning quick relay and reception between ECUs
  • Low cost - CAN bus uses a single twisted pair cable, making it a relatively inexpensive way to implement a communication network in a vehicle.
  • Reliable - The CAN bus protocol is resistant to electromagnetic interference and has an in-built collision detection mechanism so that data won’t be lost in the event of an incident.
  • Flexible - CAN bus is flexible in that it can connect to a wide variety of devices in a vehicle, and so has versatile applicability.

CAN Bus from MICHELIN Connected Fleet

We at MICHELIN Connected Fleet recognise that data is the key to optimising a fleet’s operational performance, and is precisely the reason why we are familiar with CAN bus systems. Our solutions will equip you with the information your fleet needs to excel, while ensuring that the entire process of fleet management is made more streamlined.

If you’re interested in attaining the benefits to be had from CAN bus, then be sure to contact us today for details on a solution that’s designed to suit your business.