With the advent of inexpensive computing power, car diagnostic computers that were once the purview of professional automotive shops can now be had for $50 or less. Some of these diagnostic devices are even “headless,” transferring information to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
It’s really a marvel of standardization that the ODB-II type of interface has stayed constant on vehicles made in the US since 1996. It provides access to the CAN bus, allowing consumers and shops alike to tell what’s going on with multiple car models with just one interface. This port doesn’t just tell you if something is going wrong, it can also output stats such as engine speed and throttle position.
It should come as no surprise that car hackers and established businesses alike have been producing hardware for the ODB-II interface for some time now. But how does a hardware developer test a new OBD2 gadget during development? You’d rather not get into your car with every change and start revving the engine. The solution is to use an ODB-II simulator!
As a solution to this problem, Tindarian Kevinliang has come up with an OBD-II simulator that produces signals that would normally come from your car’s computer. It features a software interface that allows you to modify system settings, as well as six physical knobs to conveniently modify parameters. The interface for the simulator is shown off in the video below.