Controller Area Network (CAN) Bus Simulator and Data-logger for In-Vehicle Infotainment Testing

Sandra Roksic, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo


In the infotainment testing environment, various tools simulate a select range of Controller Area Network (CAN) bus signals onto the infotainment workbench. The integration of signal input devices and trace-gathering tools often results in a cluttered workspace and an inefficient testing environment. This project eliminates the need for multiple signal simulators and allows for a single system source for various input CAN-bus messages. This system enables the tester to store output CAN-bus data from the test vehicle for future reference and analysis through the same integrated system. It optimizes the time it takes the tester to complete testing catalogs and minimizes the need for redundant devices thus reducing cost and energy usage. This project permits the tester to gather and source data using a single device both in the lab and in the vehicle during test drives.

The system involves a micro-controller and CAN-bus shield to send and receive CAN-bus messages. The programmed micro-controller simulates vital signals onto the infotainment workbench. Additionally, the micro-controller and shield can act as a data-logger to store the changing CAN-bus messages sourced from the test vehicle. This project develops a method to log data offline into a CSV file for later processing. CSV stands for “comma-separated values” and allows tabular data formatting. The scope of this project focuses on a select few CAN messages: speed, transmission status, door unlock state, cruise control, and lane change indicators. The project cumulatively provides the tester with the ability to simulate CAN-bus messages and log data within the vehicle.