blog entry #2

see also Blog #1 Vehicle Simulator - VTR / RTR    and blog #3 Vehicle Simulator Project - update


This is an update to the initial blog on a vehicle simulator here:


This simulator looks like an operating vehicle to any instrumentation or application that can interface to a normal vehicle via its OBDII connector. The data supplied by the simulator is real trip data collected by the Trip Recorder function of the system. There is additional sensor data available that is collected directly from the Car Cape sensor suite during the same reference trips, such as GPS position, compass heading, accelerations, angular rates, barometric pressure, temperature and ambient light.

The system is built around a Beaglebone Black with a "Car Cape" mounted on it to provide an OBDII interface, a sensor suite, a user interface and a wireless communications interface. The system may be used as either a simulator or as a stand-alone trip recorder.


Since the introductory blog, we have been busy designing hardware, ordering parts and building hardware. We have also been setting up a Beaglebone Black development environment and configuring an operating system build and experimenting with CAN bus communications.



We have built 3 capes with CAN bus capability and a suite of functionality appropriate for our vehicle applications. The various features are outlined in bullets around the Car Cape image below.

The software and hardware are currently functional enough for 2 Beaglebone Blacks, with installed capes, to communicate over the CAN bus.

Not shown are a separate keypad card and a separate OBDII connector card which also has a DC-DC converter to supply 5 volts the BBBs. These cards are built, but not fully tested yet.