OBD vs CAN
and the Vehicle data platforms

OBD

According to US end EU regulations all passenger vehicles are to have OBD ports for which numerous Chinese manufacturer offer cheap diagnostic dongles. Dongles are easy to install in most vehicles and can be accessed through wired or Bluetooth connection.

The data connection through standard OBD ports is bidirectional, dongles also send data to the communication bus. This poses safety and warranty issues in case of failure or cyber-attacks.  For the aforementioned reason the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association is deliberating to restrict the use of OBD only to stationary position.

On-Board Diagnostics ports primarily were designed for diagnostic purposes. Therefore only a few, general parameters are available (such as speed, rpm, mass airflow,  engine temperature).  All together only about 10 percent of all data is retrievable through the OBD port.

There are fewer solutions available that connects to the CAN bus network. CAN bus solutions are mostly chosen by professional users. These solutions also provide (a much more extensive) data through wired or Bluetooth connections.

In case of contactless, passive connection solutions, there is no intervention in the vehicle’s communication system. Reading data will not pose warranty issues and there is zero chance of accidents occurring due to data communication.

With the CAN bus solution, all communication between the ECUs are observable. This means a high-sampled, reliable, wide-ranging and measured dataprovider solution. The data refresh rate is 10 miliseconds for direct CAN bus reading and 1-2 seconds for the OBD ports.  Demo for available parameters on the CAN is available on a link below.

In the case of data platforms operated by vehicle manufacturers, the manufacturer itself provides for the data acquisition directly. In the case of manufacturer-independent vehicle data platforms, the communication mode is dependent on the vehicle data access method.

In the case of data platforms operated by vehicle manufacturers, the manufacturer itself provides for the data acquisition directly. In the case of manufacturer-independent vehicle data platforms, the communication mode is dependent on the vehicle data access method.

Both vehicle-operated and manufacturer-independent vehicle platform providers use equally the diagnostic port (OBD) and the CAN for data collection.

Hardware
Communication
Available data
CAN
Vehicle data platforms

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