01/03/2023 by Kvaser

Pt1: Q1/2023 J1939 and vehicle controls blog

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This blog by Bryan Hennessy will provide updates on the wider topics under discussion within the J1939 committees. Bryan is an experienced engineer in the fields of CAN diagnostics, marine electronics and semiconductors. He is an active member of the SAE Truck and Bus Control and Communications Network Committee and J1939 Task Force and chairs the ‘J1939-21 – Data Link Layer Task Force’.

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As one of the most popular CAN-based higher layer protocols in use by our customers, Kvaser’s SAE J1939 standards committee participation ensures that we will be able to meet our customers CAN interface needs today and in the future. We look forward to a safer, more efficient, and sustainable future for heavy-duty vehicles and want to help in any way we can.

Recent meetings by the SAE Truck Bus Control and Communications Network Committee (TBCCNC) cover two topics that will transform truck driving over the next few years and are thus central to the standards committees work right now:

  • Truck Trailer Interface Task Force
  • Putting J1939 data into CAN XL

J1939 Truck Trailer Interface Task Force

A host of new technologies that include automated driving, parking systems and advanced electronic braking will dramatically change truck driving in the near to mid-term future. Enabling this change is an array of cameras and sensors, load management systems, stabilized suspension, automatic coupling, and more, all enabled by a huge increase in digital communication between the truck and trailer.

The 7-pin SAE J560 connector, used by US and Canadian trucks to send power and lighting control to the trailer, will be replaced by new standards and a new connector. The process of standardizing the new connection system involves different interest groups including SAE, Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF), Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC), and Forschungsvereinigung Automobiltechnik (FAT). Within SAE alone, multiple committees are working on different parts of this system.

The new standards to connect tractors and trailers in North America should include multiple Ethernet networks, as well as CAN and CAN FD. However, the standards are not yet complete, and this could change. Among the many considerations are DC voltage drops, multi-trailer trains, dollies, two-direction power transfer, connector service life, and more that go beyond the control and protocol standards themselves. All of this adds up to plenty of work for the standards committees, so the industry will need to wait a while longer; we’re not there yet.

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