Introduction to CAN Bus: How to Programmatically Control a Car + Intro to LiDAR

Aug 16, 2017 · Cambridge, United States of America

Join us for an evening to learn about some of the essential technologies involved in Self Driving Cars -- LiDAR and CAN Bus. 

PLEASE NOTE: To register for this event, please do so at this EventBrite link.

For building security issues, our venue host requires that attendees register with their full name matching their driver's license and/or passport. Attendees will need to provide an ID for entrance to this event. Registration for this event will close on August 14th, two days before the event.


Two $50 Amazon gift cards

BRING YOUR BUSINESS CARDS!!!  Equinix will hold two separate drawings from a cookie jar of submitted business cards.

One 1-year individual subscription to any single JetBrains Toolbox product ( of your choice from among IDEs and .NET Tools.  Comes with a perpetual fallback license (  Conditions:

• Will be drawn from random pick from registration spreadsheet

• Must be redeemed by 8/20/17

• Must be present to win

• Winner cannot have won one of the $50 Amazon gift cards above


6:00p - 6:30p: Doors open, pizza & soft drinks, Networking

6:30p - 7:15p: Introduction to LiDAR & Demo

Sitos will give a primer on LiDAR and demonstrate a Velodyne 16 laser beam LiDAR unit.

7:15p - 7:30p: Break

7:30p - 8:15p: Introduction to CAN Bus: How to Programmatically Control a Car

Ariel will provide an introduction to CAN Bus, and talk about how he hacked the A/C unit in a Ford Fusion for, a developing self-driving taxi service in Silicon Valley.  Check out

8:15p - 8:30p: Prize drawings; Adjourn


Shitoshna "Sitos" Nepal recently graduated from Tufts University (Medford, MA) with a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering.  He works as a Perception Engineer at the Highly Automated Driving (HAD) department within Autoliv, a Swedish-American automotive parts supplier.  Currently, Sitos is working on software for LiDAR sensors and more specifically on perception for autonomous vehicles with LiDAR point cloud data.  He has extensive experience with the Velodyne and the IBEO LiDAR's.

Ariel Núñez is an Electronics Engineer, specializing in open source software. He is one of the main creators and contributors of GeoNode software, and has worked with NGOs such as the UN (WFP), and the World Bank (GFDRR), developing and promoting the use of open source software for risk assessment and prevention. He is a contributor to Udacity's self-driving car open source project (


LiDAR, short for Light Detection And Ranging, is a surveying method that measures distance to a target by illuminating that target with a pulsed laser light, and measuring the reflected pulses with a sensor. Differences in laser return times and wavelengths can then be used to make digital 3D-representations of the target. Lidar is popularly used to make high-resolution maps, with applications in geodesy, archaeology, geology, and laser guidance. The technology is also used for control and navigation for some autonomous cars.

CAN Bus, short for Controller Area Network, is a robust vehicle bus standard designed to allow microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other in applications without a host computer. It is a message-based protocol, designed originally for multiplex electrical wiring within automobiles, but is also used in many other contexts.

Event organizers
  • Boston Autonomous Vehicles

    Welcome! This group is intended for anyone who has an interest in autonomous vehicles (ground, air, or water) and their related technologies:  Robotics, Computer Vision, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, etc. All are welcome. Please join our Slack workspace ( for active discussions about this field and to be notified about our events and activities. Slack invite link: Small-Scale Robocar Races A few of us are working on small (1/16th - 1/10th-scale) robo

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