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There are multiple in-vehicle network types: CAN, MOST, LIN...

Do vehicles typically use only one of these or do they use a combination of networks types?

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I think you'll find that many cars use a combination as the types are designed for different applications:

  • CAN is the "old standard" it is likely to be around for some time and since there are lots of tools and devices that support it other networks and protocols will naturally be designed to complement and co-exist with it. For example, CAN is to slow for media applications, so a car with CAN and MOST would make a lot of sense.
  • LIN was introduced to address the costs of CAN as in-car networks became more widespread and as the number of networked devices increased. It is designed to be able to complement CAN.
  • MOST is media oriented, so it is likely to co-exist with CAN and/or LIN.

Since it makes sense to segregate network functions – you don't want video playback competing with the ABS or stability systems – it only makes sense for there to be multiple network types designed (optimized) for the job they are being asked to do.

One way to learn more about questions like this would be to search for the parts that would be likely to exist if multiple networks are supported. For example a car with a CAN and MOST network might have a CAN/MOST gateway to enable MOST diagnostics via CAN and the ODB port. The parts you'd find with such a search could give you a lot of insight into how the networks are integrated in actual vehicles.

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  • @user2699785, you're welcome. Interesting question.
    – dlu
    Nov 18, 2016 at 17:28

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