CANopen is a CAN-based higher layer protocol originally developed for industrial control systems. The CANopen specifications include different device and application profiles. CANopen networks are also used in vehicles, e.g. in buses for engine control, in public transportation for passenger information systems, and in off-road vehicles for different purposes. As opposed to other higher-layer approaches, CANopen software is first compiled and afterwards the network will be configured. In traditional vehicle networks configuration is done before compilation.
Besides the use in a hybrid bus, CANopen is already implemented in different fork-lifts, road construction machines, as well as mining vehicles. CiA is developing device profiles for diesel engines, electronic gears, joysticks, hydraulic valves, etc. In addition, CANopen has been used in agriculture and forrestry machines and maritime applications.