Prototyping a CAN bus node for predictive vehicle maintenance

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The modern-day automobile is no longer just an analog and mechanical entity. Currently, the most basic of vehicular functions have been computerized. The dedicated hardware assigned to these tasks are electronic control units (ECU). Automobiles consist of a number of ECUs networked together to ensure proper functioning of the vehicle. The overall safety of the vehicle relies on real-time communication between the ECUs. Intra-vehicular communication is possible because of the Controller Area Network (CAN). ECUs are responsible for detecting skids, performing anti-lock braking and providing vehicle diagnostic information. Access to CAN bus could prove useful to mechanics, replacing the trial and error method of identifying vehicle faults. Described in this paper is a hardware and software design of a prototype system that provides real-time CAN bus data. Leveraging on the available CAN bus data, the prototype system will provide vehicle performance data over time. This information should aid in the detection of early detection of vehicle irregularities.
Capstone Project submitted to the Department of Engineering, Ashesi University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering, April 2019
electronic control unit (ECU), controller area network (CAN), mechanics, vehicle diagnostics, hardware, web-based application