5 Challenges with International Vehicle Controls & Telematics - Challenge 1: Harmonizing Standards

The heavy duty mobile machinery market has seen considerable change in its brief history. From sheer work producing innovations to the machines we have come to know today, mobile machines now offer operator comforts like HVAC, ergonomics, precision controls, computerized systems and much more. While technology expands into every industry across the globe, it brings new challenges and opportunities that we are embracing faster with every new generation.

In this 5 part blog series, we explore some of these challenges when providing vehicle control systems and telematics solutions within the globalization of our industry including harmonizing standards, frequencies of 4G/5G, data privacy laws, coding practices and safety. But let’s refer to them as opportunities for pushing our industry into bold new directions.


Challenge 1: Harmonizing Standards

Harmonization of industry standards is probably one of the biggest hurdles you will face as an OEM once you realize the vast number of opportunities available when entering into international business. Although logistics, customer support and figuring out how to make a profit are equally challenging.

So how do you prepare vehicles for market and eventually sell them to another country? There are two methods in which this can be handled.  You can either outsource the required support, or use your own research department to identify what markets are beneficial to serve in addition to meeting the required standards for bringing vehicles into the selected country. For example, China requires CCC, Europe requires CE, and US requirements are based around the market such as MIL and SAE. Even the largest companies struggle with all the standards required, but once you become familiar with the procedures, it will become easier.

Industry organizations like the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the International Organization of Standards (ISO) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) have traditionally had very different views or needs regarding standards. For example, ISO has predominantly pushed EN throughout Europe and the rest of the world, while SAE has had a big influence in North America. Below is a list of standards designated by different organizations for varying markets that all use the same CAN physical layer:                 


      J1939 = data transfer protocol (typically used in heavy duty bus and truck industry)

      NEMA = data transfer protocol (includes all of J1939 plus some NEMA only PGNs) (typically focused around boats)

      ISObus = data transfer protocol (predominantly used for Agriculture implements)

      CANopen = control protocol (migrated from industrial applications to mobile controls, predominantly used in heavy duty vehicle applications)

      CANopen Safe = Safety rated control protocol


With more and more globalization taking place, these standards will need to be carefully coordinated between associations to maintain their objectives of safety, reliability and performance.

Look for my next post where we will visit Challenge 2: Frequencies of 4G/5G.        




Related Blog Posts:

Challenge 2: Frequencies of 4G and 5G

Challenge 3: Data Privacy Laws

Meet the Author

Jeff Baumberger is the International Sales Engineer for HED, Inc. where he works directly with customers and distributors worldwide to help them develop their markets with HED’s proven, robust hardware and software portfolio. Jeff has 16 years of experience in electrical engineering for small and large organizations. Prior to working with HED, Jeff held a position with McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing as Senior Electrical Engineer and was an Aircraft Electrical and Environmental Technician for the US Air Force. Jeff Attended the University of Wisconsin Platteville and holds a Master’s of Science degree in Project Management from Colorado Technical University.


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