FSAE Electric Racecar Team discovers the value of CAN

7 months ago by Kvaser

Promising Formula Student team, Zips Racing Electric (ZRE), is using CAN for the first time this year, upgrading from an analog communication scheme between the pedal sensors, ECU and motor inverter. Kvaser has supplied a free Kvaser Leaf Light R v2 and access to our support team to help develop and debug the CAN network.

ZRE, from the University of Akron, Ohio, USA, placed 5th out of 30 in their first competition in Lincoln, Nebraska last year. With a new car for 2020 that incorporates many student-designed PCBs, including the firmware for all microcontrollers used, CAN will allow for robust communication between electric modules and lossless transmission. CAN is also better suited in a noisy environment from the motor and inverter than a direct analog system, while also reducing the size of the wire harness.

Adam Long, electrical engineering lead on the team, has found Kvaser’s ‘CAN Basic’s Training: A Practical Introduction to the CAN Bus’ and CanKing, free Bus Monitor software particularly helpful: “I found it a useful guide for making a database file and making human-readable values with CanKing.” In addition, the Kvaser Database Editor tool provides an excellent GUI to edit and create .dbc files.

If you or anyone you know could benefit from Kvaser’s free CAN Education portal to learn about CAN, please share the link below!

Visit Kvaser's CAN Education Portal