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The use of Controller Area Network (CAN) in agricultural and off-highway machinery

A two page technical note introducing the Controller Area Network (CAN) system and how it has been adopted as a universal solution for controlling electronic control units.

Year of Publication2010

Microcontrollers and electronic control units (ECU) are widely used in many applications including the control systems of cars, agricultural vehicles such as tractors and off-highway machines such as mining equipment. As machines have become more complicated the need for ECUs to share information and provide better functionality has grown. Controller Area Network (CAN) is a serial network that links electronic control units (ECUs) and sensors together and allows fast communication between them. It was developed by Bosch in the 1980s for automotive use. The system has been highly successful, with over 2 billion CAN-based control units in use worldwide in a range of applications. The agricultural and off-highway sector has adopted CAN through the US Society of Automotive Engineers J 1939 higher level protocol system. An example of this is the CAN-based ISOBUS universal implement control system. This two page technical note provides a simple introduction to CAN, including how the system works and what benefits it offers.

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Supporting the development of the national rural economy.

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