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Brief Introduction:
Controller area networks (CAN) were introduced in 1991 to allow microcontrollers in the engine control unit (ECU), anti-lock braking system (ABS), automatic transmission, etc. to communicate with each other and have essentially been used in almost every car made since 1996. Looking towards the future, new applications such as X-by-Wire require much faster and redundant network connections which CAN will not be able to support due to its low bit rate. To address this problem companies such as BMW, BOSCH, and GM are developing a multiplexed network called FlexRay to handle the needs of the next generation automotive data networking demands.

My discussion question is "How long will CAN be supported after FlexRay (assuming it will become the automotive industry standard networking system) replaces it?"

Another way to ask this question is "How many of you will continue to buy, support, repair, etc. CAN related technologies? If so, why?"


Also if you could include your level of involvement with CAN or FlexRay systems such as "Automotive R&D", or "Automotive Repair Services" that would be helpful.


Thank you.
 

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I worked in a dealership for about 3 years in the shop, and 3 years in automotive classes in highschool and trade schools before that. Whenever a new standard or technology comes out, there will always be support for older models. We had a drawer full of adapter cables to communicate with pre-OBDII Hyundai models, and I've seen similar things at Ford and Chrysler dealers, old scan tools never really get junked, since as long as parts are available, a dealer will continue to support the vehicle line. Same goes for aftermarket support; you look in a Snap-On or other tool catalog, they sell scan tools that can communicate with the first computer controlled cars made in the late 70s/early 80s (when every manufacturer used their own standard, sometimes several) to now. Ya just gotta pay for it ;). So to answer the first question, I don't see support, or lack of it being an issue for at least a decade, as if memory serves thats the standard most manufacturers follow for parts manufacturing (10 years from last production), sometimes it can be much longer. As for the second question, I am no longer in the business so I don't see myself supporting/repairing much of anything, but I wouldn't not buy a vehicle because it used CAN over FlexRay or any other standard.
 
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