CAN Standards

There are many standards to choose from. Here’s but a few:

  • The CAN standard:
    • ISO 11898-1 – the CAN protocol
    • ISO 11898-2 – high-speed physical layer for CAN
    • ISO 11898-3 – low-speed fault-tolerant physical layer for CAN
    • ISO 11898-4 – Time-Triggered CAN
    • ISO 11898-5 – “High-speed medium access unit with low-power mode” – currently in the Working Draft stage.
    • ISO 11519-2 – obsolete and superseded by 11898-3.
  • ISO 14230 – “Keyword Protocol 2000” – several parts that define diagnostics on a serial line which is not CAN.
  • ISO 15765 – this is a standard that defines diagnostics on a CAN bus – essentially Keyword 2000 on a CAN bus.
  • J1939 – the dominating CAN-based higher-layer protocol for trucks and busses, defined by SAE. J1939 is divided into several parts describing the physical layer, data link layer, network management, and a large number of predefined messages.
  • ISO 11783 – a J1939 flavor for agricultural (tractors!) use
  • ISO 11992 – defines an interface between trucks and trailers
  • NMEA 2000® – protocol based on J1939 for marine use. Defined by the NMEA committee.

When people talk about “CAN” without further detailing what standards they are talking about, they usually mean the protocol defined by 11898-1 and the physical layer defined by 11898-2.

The ISO standards are maintained by ISO. You can’t download them for free, but you can purchase them online. If you go to your national standardizations organization you might find a translated edition.

Other related protocols and standards

There are a number of protocols and standards closely related to CAN. Read about some of them below.