Open Standard for Networking and Communication in the Commercial Vehicle Sector

Solutions for your SAE J1939 Networking

SAE J1939 is the open standard for networking and communication in the commercial vehicle sector. The focal point of the application is the networking of the power train.

Characteristic for SAE J1939 is the use of CAN technology for networking and communication as well as manufacturer-spanning interoperability. The J1939 protocol comes from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and works on the physical layer with CAN-highspeed according to ISO11898.


  • Uses the 29-bit extended CAN identifier
  • Standardized CAN baud rates of 250 kbits/s and 500 kbits/s.
  • Has point-to-point addressing (node addressing) and global addressing (message addressing)
  • Up to 1785 bytes can be transmitted with multi-packet messages
  • Bus access control via own network management
  • Standardized messages for the overall vehicle communication
  • Allows manufacturer-specific message definition
  • Defines own diagnostic interface

Consortium and other Specifications

There are a number of standards which are derived from SAE J1939. These standards use the basic description of J1939 and often differ only in their data definition and adaptations of the physical layer, where necessary.

ISO 11783 – Tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry – Serial control and communication

Defines the communication in vehicles used for agriculture. Specifically, the communication between the tractor and add-on equipment, the so-called implement. The ISO 11783 standard specifies services at the application layer, for example, the control of add-on equipment via a Virtual Terminal. The add-on equipment itself brings along all graphic elements needed for its control, which the Virtual Terminal can display. Other application components are: Tractor ECU, Task Controller, File Server, and Sequence Control. The ISO 11783 standard has an extension of the multi-packet protocol defined for SAE J1939. The Working Set mechanism is also applied.

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NMEA 2000® – Serial-data networking of marine electronic devices

Defines the ECU communication between vehicles in the maritime environment. An extension of the multi-packet protocol – the so-called Fast Packet protocol – is also used here.

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ISO 11992 – Interchange of digital information between towing and towed vehicle

Specifies the message exchange of road vehicles between the towing vehicle and the towed vehicle. ISO 11992 is based on the message format of J1939 but uses a different configuration of the physical layer, namely only 125 kbits/s.

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FMS – Fleet Management System

The FMS standard defines a gateway between a J1939 network and the FMS.

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Document Structure J1939

The complete J1939 specification is subdivided into various documents and chapters. All documents can be downloaded individually or in preassembled packages from the SAE website: www.sae.org.

The following table lists the currently existing chapters and documents.


J1939 Top-Level Document
Describes the general standard as an overview
J1939 – 0x: Special Applications and Implementation Guidelines
Marine Stern Drive Engine On-Board-Diagnostics implementation guideline
On-Board-Diagnostics implementation guidelines
Agricultural communication
On-highway communication
J1939 – 8x: Network Management and Conformity
On-Board-Diagnostics conformity test for commercial vehicles
Conformity test for trucks and buses
Network management – Dynamic address assignment and device names
J1939 – 7x: Application
J1939-76 J1939 Functional Safety Communication Protocol
Application layer - Generators and electric drives
Application layer – Configurable messages
Diagnostic layer
Application layer (application descriptions and implementation aids)
J1939 – 3x: Bridge, Router, Gateway, Filter
Network layer (bridges, router, gateways)
J1939 – 2x: Data Link Layer
Data link layer (transport protocols, request, acknowledgement, etc.)
J1939 – 1x: Description of Physical Layer
J1939-16 Automatic Baude Rate Detection Process
Reduced physical layer, 250 kbit/s, twisted pair, unshielded
Physical layer, 500 kbit/s
Off-board diagnostic connector
Physical layer, 250 kbit/s, twisted pair, shielded
J1939 – Digital Annex
Database excerpt (electronic table) with all application-relevant data descriptions (messages and signals, formerly in document J1939-71)

J1939 Poster

This informative and clearly structured poster in DIN A1 format offers important technical details about:
 	Specification Documents 	Physical Layer 	Frame Structure 	Transport Protocols 	Request Handling 	Diagnostics 	Network Management

This informative and clearly structured poster in DIN A1 format offers important technical details about:

  • Specification Documents
  • Physical Layer
  • Frame Structure
  • Transport Protocols
  • Request Handling
  • Diagnostics
  • Network Management

Vector - The J1939 Specialist

Vector is a member of SAE J1939 committees and participates regularly in the workshops. Thanks to Vector's expertise and many years' experience in the J1939 environment, you profit from high-performance products and services with which you can solve your challenging problems more efficiently, faster, and more cost-effectively.

With a continuous tool chain for all J1939 projects, Vector has the right solution for you:

  • perfectly-attuned software tools

  • custom-tailored embedded software components

  • individual service and trainings designed specially for your needs

Vector Tools

The following products from Vector assist you in your J1939 projects:

Model-based E/E system design according to SAE J1939 and ISOBUS 11783:
  • Import and Export of J1939 designs via DBC and AUTOSAR
  • Extended multiplexing for CAN
  • Modeling of controller applications
  • AUTOSAR compliant software and hardware network design
Simulation, testing, and development of J1939 systems:
  • Creation of simulation environments (simulation of the remaining bus) for J1939 systems
  • Run-time environment for the simulation
  • Band end tests
Analysis of J1939 systems:
  • Analysis and logging of data traffic on J1939 networks
  • Stimulation of message sequences
  • Replay of recorded message sequences (replay)
Embedded software components for J1939 applications
Running applications on CAN, SAE J1939 and SAE J1708/J1587 networks
Driver Software for DIAdem: supports the J1939 protocol as well as NMEA2000 and ISOBUS (ISO11783)
Quick and especially easy to use diagnostic tester for single ECUs or the complete vehicle
Workshops: SAE J1939 Fundamentals & Introduction to CANalyzer/CANoe.J1939