Devlog: Hacking my Honda through the CANBUS

This project is trying to add auto or self parking to my Honda CRV or my Honda Civic.

August 26

Yesterday I manage to configure the white panda so I could output to the CAN bus. I tried to do a replay with can packets to unlock the doors but I didn’t manage to open the doors. I’m not sure if savvy increments the counters when replaying the packets.

Things I’m not sure about

  • When replaying the packets do the counters go up?
  • Does the panda socketcan adapter put all the packets on one can bus? No it mounts three can sockets so it must be listening on all three ports. Maybe a connection is loose when connecting to the three can ports.
  • Is doors stuff on other ports like gmlan and such?

August 21:

I attempted a few things over the last month, that I didn’t log.

I tried to use the Comma ai’s panda device as a SocketCan device with the program SavvyCan. I was able see and filter packets in real time with this setup. However I couldn’t complete replay attack to open my doors.

I suspect that panda is not playing back the signal onto the cars’ network. An easy test is to attach a logic analyzer to the Panda. However its pins were set too deep and oddly shaped to attach probes to them. I don’t want to pry open the panda because I’m sure to break it and I don’t want to spend another $130 to get a new one.

July 17:

I think there are three parts to this project: 1. Kinematics of the car 2. Getting Sensor Output 3. Localization 4. Algorithm which ties everything together.

I worked on number 2 today. I found out that its impossible get camera feed from PANDA. The open pilot folks only developed a way to get the forward radar. They don’t really care about blind spot monitoring or rear facing radars. I’m not sure if it is possible to assess the blind spot monitoring or rear facing radar.

Additionally I found out that CAN signals are encoded in a DBC files. From this wiki: DBC file is a proprietary format that describes the data over a CAN bus. The DBC file defines up to 8 bytes of CAN message data. Additional definitions of DBC terms here.

I’m going to take time off this project until Wednesday, I’ll be finishing another project until then.

July 16:

Ordered my panda from sparkfun. Expecting my shipment by the end of next week. In the mean time I’m going to be researching the sensor output from the Honda and how I can use them to localize the car. What algorithm am I going to use to localize my car? SLAM? Or something else?

In the mean time I should setup my laptop to have Linux installed.

July 12th:

I started yesterday. I only did research so far. I’m going to document what I’ve done so far.

Tools I think will help me

  • Comma ai’s Panda OBD 2 interface with Cabana. Panda is hardware which plugs into your OBS port of your car and allows you to read and write information to said port.(? still have to confirm write ability). Cabana which is software allows you to visualize the data from your OBS port.
  • Honda self service access. This could be good for figuring out where to tie into the CAN network. Cost of one day access is $25, one month access is $125.
  • Alternative to Panda OBD 2. Find a OBS 2 to USB then Linux running on laptop + SocketCAN + Caring Caribou
  • Car Hacker’s Handbook from OpenGarage


  • Can panda capture the signals from blind spot monitoring, front and rear view camera feeds. How do I tie into those? Is the video on the can networks? or the obs ports?
  • How does open pilot, send commands to the car to allow it to move? How does it get camera data.
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