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An Introduction to the Controller Area Network (CAN) Bus

Learn the fundamentals of the Controller Area Network (CAN) Bus using both a theoretical and practical approach
Emile Ackbarali
3,263 students enrolled
Understand the commercial and technical factors that drove the development of CAN Bus
Understand the need for network arbitration and how it is done with CAN Bus
Know the format of the CAN Bus data frame
Gain an appreciation of the various parts of the CAN Bus data frame and their purposes
Understand how non destructive collision detection occurs at the byte level
Appreciate what part of the protocol is handled in firmware and what needs to be specified by the designer
Configure CAN Bus message identifiers and data format on actual CAN Bus hardware
Use CAN Bus simulation software to simulate a CAN Bus network

CAN Bus stands for “Controller Area NetworkBus

CAN-bus is one of those technologies that everyone experiences every day, without actually knowing about it. Because it is so widely used, in everything from cars and trucks through to boats, factories and even building management systems, the chances of interacting with it on a daily basis are pretty high.

CAN is a vehicle bus standard designed to allow microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other in applications without a host computer. It is a message-based protocol, designed originally for multiplex electrical wiring within automobiles, but is also used in many other contexts.

You should get to know this protocol as it will allow you to expand your expertise and opportunities in design and building equipment in the following areas: Automotive, Medical, Military, Industrial Machines, Aviation, etc.

There is quite a bit of info on CAN Bus available on the Internet, but not much showing CAN Bus communications in a very practical way. And that’s what I am going to do in the course. 

At the end of my course, you are not only going to understand the CAN Bus theory but I am going to show you how to use CAN Bus hardware and software in my usual practical approach. 


Accessing Attached Resources and Setting Optimal Video Resolution

Why CAN bus was Invented and How it is Used

How the Needs of the Automotive Industry Lead to the Development of CAN bus

CAN bus was developed due to the increasing number of features, and therefore electronic components, that were being added to automotive vehicles.

An Example of CAN bus Operation in a Vehicle

An example using an automatic door of a minivan to see how CAN bus plays a role.

The Network Arbitration Method Used by CAN Bus

Understanding Network Arbitration

Network Arbitration is defined from a practical standpoint.

A Look at the Network Arbitration methods for Two Popular Network Types

A look at the network arbitration methods for Modbus RS485 and Ethernet on a LAN.

The CAN Bus Network Arbitration Method - Part 1

The CAN Bus Network Arbitration Method - Part 1

The CAN Bus Network Arbitration Method - Part 2

The CAN Bus Network Arbitration Method - Part 2

The CAN Bus Data Packet Structure and Functions

The Typical CAN Bus Data Frame Format

A look at the typical CAN Bus frame format and the names / purposes of the various sections. 

CAN Bus Network - Electrical Characteristics of the Bus

The bus system used is a pair of wires. This lecture explores the voltages that exist on the wire pair and how logic 0 and 1 are represented.

The Purpose of the Message Identifier Field

The purpose of the message identifier field is 2-fold: it acts as a unique identifier as well as sets the priority of the message on the network.

CAN Bus Message Transmission without Collissions

Most of the messages that are transmitted on the CAN Bus network will happen without collision.

Non Destructive Collision Detection at the Bit Level

How the message identifier implements non destructive collision detection at the byte level.

The Purpose of the Data Byte Field

The contents of the data byte field are not specified by the CAN Bus specification. 

Pausing the Theory and Bringing in the Practical

This section is ended and in the next section we look at some practical before jumping back into more theory.

Building a Simple CAN Bus Network

The CAN Training Kit from Tangent Technolabs

A look at the website of the company Tangent Technolabs where the CAN training kit was acquired.

The CAN Bus Hardware on my Work Bench

A look at the CAN Bus hardware that will be used in this section; how it is set up on my work bench.

The Configuration Plan for the CAN Bus Hardware

The lecture runs through the configuration plan for the CAN Bus nodes 1 and 2, that needs to be done to create the CAN Bus network.

Programming CAN Bus Node 1

Programming CAN Bus Node 1

Programming CAN Bus Node 2

Programming CAN Bus Node 2

Running the Our First CAN Bus Network

The hardware is started and the inputs are actuated.

Monitoring the CAN Bus Network using the VCAN Bus Analyzer

Looking at the Connection of the CAN Bus Analyzer on the Work Bench

Looking at the Connection of the CAN Bus Analyzer on the Work Bench

Using the CAN Bus analyzer to View Message Data on the CAN Bus Network

Using the CAN Bus analyzer to View Message Data on the CAN Bus Network

Taking a Closer Look at the CAN Bus Data Packet Structure

A Look at SOF, EOF, DLC, R0, IDE and CRC

This lecture looks at the following parts of the standard CAN data packet: SOF, EOF, DLC, R0, IDE and CRC.

Remote Transmission Request and The Remote Frame

Remote Transmission Request and The Remote Frame.

The Acknowledge (ACK) Field

A look at the ACK field in the CAN data packet.

CAN Bus implementations Used in the World Today

The 3 Basic CAN Standards Used Today

A look at the basic CAN implementation used in the world today.

Higher Level Protocols Developed using CAN Bus as Their Foundation

Over the years, different industries have taken the basic CAN Bus protocol and built their own protocols on top of it. 

Bonus Section - How to Always get the Lowest Prices for my Courses

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An Introduction to the Controller Area Network (CAN) Bus
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