Most of us take our cars for granted. With the simple turn of a key and push on a pedal, we can travel to our destinations without much thought of the processes going on within the vehicle.
In modern vehicles, there are even more complex processes going on – some even eliminating the use of a manual handbrake, replacing it with a much smaller electronic parking brake button.
So how do all the components of a vehicle interact with each other to ensure that you can get from A to B safely? A variety of cables can be found within every car, in particular, CAN bus cables are be found throughout.
These cables can transmit data from a Control Area Network (CAN) at super-fast speeds. CANs were initially invented in the 1980s for use within in-vehicle networks, they allowed for reliable data exchange between engine control units (ECUs).
A CAN within a vehicle allows for different components to communicate with one another, such as the airbag, lighting and engine control. Control area networks can also be found within industrial machinery and medical systems.
Vehicles must be designed to be as safe as possible, and so every cable within must be able to withstand frequent stresses and ensure that the communication between components is transmitted constantly and as quickly as possible.
An example of a CAN bus system within a modern car is within a parking assist system. Once a driver engages their reverse gear, signals are sent via a CAN bus to activate the parking sensor system. Rain on the rear window can also be detected whilst the car is in reverse, initiating the rear window wipers.
The future of electronics within vehicles is certainly interesting. Self-driving cars are an example of a vehicle which relies solely on its systems and components to function. An elaborate network of sensors communicating with one another allows self-driving vehicles to stop when necessary and navigate around roads without the need for a manual steering wheel.