Vehicle networking moves toward global harmonization

Global standards tie together existing standards, strengthen the forward path for vehicle networks


  • SAE J1939 will double in speed from 250 to 500 Kbps (Kilobits of data transfer per second).
  • FlexRay - a high-performance network that supports time or event triggered events with redundancy and fault tolerance at speeds to 10 Mbps (Megabits of data transfer per second).
  • The use of Ethernet as an in-vehicle network with a range of speeds from 10 Mbps (millions of bits per second) to 100 Gbps (billions of bits per second).

Both automotive and heavy duty engineers are looking at a new CAN standard developed by Bosch called CAN with Flexible Data Rate (CAN-FD). Here, the basics of CAN remain the same, such as the vehicle wiring, however, the data throughput can be increased to an effective speed of 1.5 to 12 Mbps.

CAN-FD interoperates with CAN, and could easily be added to existing SAE or ISO standards, including WWH.

We will see significant advances in vehicle network technology in the very near future, like faster networking (CAN-FD, Ethernet and FlexRay), vehicle-to-vehicle communications (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure communications (V2I), as well as other safety and security-related components.

The best thing for the OEM, component manufacturer or diagnostics and maintenance for consumers is that most of these proposed changes already have an SAE or ISO standards committee looking at how to best support new functionality, interoperability and diagnostics in a global standard. 

Mark Zachos is president and founder of DG Technologies - a vehicle network solutions company with a quarter rcentury of offering diagnostics, re-programming, engineering tools, consulting and training in support of vehicle networks. www.dgtech.com. DG Technologies chairs and participates on numerous SAE, ATA, TMC and ISO committees, and Zachos serves on the board of directors of SAE International.

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