The vehicle interface (or CAN translator) is based on a microcontroller with two external connections - one to the CAN bus via the OBD-II port, and one to the host device via USB or serial. It passively listens for a subset of CAN messages, performs required unit conversion or factoring and outputs a generic version to the USB interface.
Unless you are implementing custom CAN messages, you will most likely need a pre-built OpenXC binary from the manufacturer of your vehicle. Each OEM can decide whether or not to participate in OpenXC and if so, which types of data they wish to expose.
The firmware for all supported Ford vehicles is currently available to anyone who signs this developer agreement.
The current implementation uses the Digilent chipKIT Max32, an Arduino-compatible microcontroller based on PIC32. The Network Shield add-on adds two CAN transceivers, which is enough to enable most OpenXC applications.
The translator is powered via its micro-USB port, which is connected to the host device. CAN messages are received via the OBD-II port in the driver's footwell.
•2011 - 2013 Focus (gas and electric)
•2011 - 2012 Fusion (gas and hybrid)
•2011 - 2012 Fiesta
•2011 - 2012 E350
The firmware for these vehicles is as of yet untested, but should work fine. If you use the CAN translator on one of these vehicles, do let the developers know.
•2006 - 2010, 2013 Fusion
•2010, 2011, 2013 Mustang
•2011 - 2013 Explorer
•2010 - 2013 F-150
•2009 - 2013 Flex
•2007 - 2013 Edge
•2006 - 2013 Lincoln MKZ
•2009 - 2013 Lincoln MKT
•2011 - 2013 Lincoln MKX