Using deep learning for decoding of CAN bus data in vehicle analysis: Gaurav Adke at DLDC 2023

This talks covers the innovative application of deep learning for decoding Controller Area Network (CAN) bus data in vehicle analysis

In the talk delivered by Gaurav Adke, Senior Manager of Data Science at Michelin at Deep Learning DevCon (DLDC) 2023, he shed light on the innovative application of deep learning techniques for decoding Controller Area Network (CAN) bus data in vehicle analysis. With modern vehicles generating a plethora of signals such as engine RPM, vehicle speed, and odometer readings, the ability to effectively analyze and diagnose vehicle performance is of utmost importance. However, decoding this data has traditionally been a challenging and time-consuming task. Gaurav Adke explores how deep learning can revolutionize this process, making it more efficient and accurate.

CAN Protocol as the Communication Backbone

The CAN protocol serves as the communication backbone for transmitting signals from various vehicle components through Electronic Control Units (ECUs). These signals are vital for understanding vehicle behavior, performance, and safety. However, the data is stored in an encoded format, and decoding it accurately requires specialized knowledge and decoding formulas typically available only to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). This limitation poses a challenge for analytics and service industries that rely on this information to gain valuable insights and perform post-processing tasks.

Traditionally, the reverse engineering process involved a manual approach to decode the signals. Engineers would perform tests, such as pressing the brake or accelerator, and observe how the bits in the encoded data changed over time. This method was time-consuming and often involved trial and error to identify the exact meaning of each signal. It also required extensive on-road testing, which was resource-intensive.

Deep Learning at Helm

To address these challenges, Gaurav Adke and his team leveraged deep learning and artificial intelligence techniques to automate the process of decoding CAN bus data. By training deep learning models using labeled data, collected and provided by a sister company, they aimed to develop a more efficient and accurate decoding mechanism.

The labeled data consisted of log files containing timestamps, CAN IDs (unique identifiers for specific signals), and the corresponding decoded signal values such as engine RPM, speed, and odometer readings. These log files provided the ground truth needed for training the deep learning models.

By using deep learning algorithms, Gaurav Adke and his team were able to automatically learn the underlying patterns and relationships within the encoded data. This approach eliminated the need for manual decoding and significantly reduced the time and effort required to obtain meaningful results. Instead of running vehicles for extended periods, the deep learning models could quickly and accurately decode the signals in a matter of minutes or hours.

The use of deep learning for decoding CAN bus data brings numerous benefits. It enables analytics and service industries to efficiently process and analyze vehicle data, leading to valuable insights regarding driving behavior, fuel consumption, vehicle maintenance, and driver calibration. This information can be utilized for various purposes, such as improving road safety, enhancing vehicle performance, and supporting insurance-related assessments.


During the talk, Gaurav Adke also highlighted the challenges associated with decoding CAN bus data. These challenges include the complexity of the encoding scheme, the sheer volume of signals, and the need to handle variations across different vehicle models and manufacturers. Deep learning models address these challenges by leveraging their ability to learn complex patterns and generalize across different contexts.

In conclusion, Gaurav Adke’s talk on using deep learning for decoding CAN bus data in vehicle analysis showcases the potential of artificial intelligence techniques to transform the way we analyze and understand vehicle performance. By automating the decoding process, deep learning enables faster and more accurate analysis, providing valuable insights for various industries. With ongoing advancements in deep learning and data science, we can expect further enhancements in vehicle analysis and a deeper understanding of the vast amount of data generated by modern vehicles.