Vehicle Spy (VSpy) is a versatile automotive network analysis tool used for monitoring, diagnosing, and simulating in-vehicle protocols like CAN, LIN, Automotive Ethernet and more. It is used during the development and testing phase of an ECU or a vehicle.

What is Vehicle Spy (VSpy)?

Vehicle Spy, also known as VSpy, is an in-vehicle networking software tool developed by Intrepid Control Systems, Inc., a USA-based company.

Vehicle Spy (VSpy)

Automotive engineers use VSpy for vehicle bus network analysis, vehicle diagnostics, measurement, calibration, and node bus simulation during vehicle testing and development.

Vehicle Spy enables engineers and technicians to monitor, analyze, and interact with vehicle networks (like CAN, LIN, Automotive Ethernet, etc.), facilitating the testing and debugging of automotive ECUs.

History of Intrepid Control Systems, Inc.

Intrepid Control Systems is a privately held company founded in 1994 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Now, Intrepid is based in Troy. It develops hardware and software tools mainly used by automotive engineers in vehicle testing and embedded engineering.

Intrepid Control Systems, Inc. is the developer of Vehicle Spy (VSpy)

Intrepid is known for its robust ValueCAN network interface devices and neoVI Data loggers.

Its customers include many global OEMs and significant tier one suppliers. Intrepid Control Systems has a global presence with offices and distributors in USA, Europe, Asia, and South America.

Critical features of Vehicle Spy (VSpy)

Here are some of its key features and functionalities:

in-vehicle Network Analysis

VSpy allows users to monitor and analyze vehicle bus traffic for various automotive in-vehicle communication networks, such as CAN, LIN, Automotive Ethernet, and more. This includes capturing, filtering, saving, and displaying messages in real-time. Users can quickly load CAN DBC and LIN LDF files into the Vehicle Spy database to decode these messages.

Vehicle Diagnostics using Vehicle Spy (VSpy)

VSpy supports different diagnostic services, enabling users to send diagnostic request messages and interpret the diagnostic responses according to protocols such as UDS (Unified Diagnostic Services), SAE J1939, GMLAN, KWP2000 and OBD-II J1979. VSpy also supports the industry-standard diagnostic file format (.ODX) and has an inbuilt ODX viewer that is free to use.

Data Acquisition (DAQ)

Users can log in-vehicle network data for further analysis. VSpy can be used to configure Intrepid’s data logger device. Users can create scripts for their specific data logging requirement (For example, log vehicle data only when Engine RPM is > 4000 AND selected Gear is 4th) using function blocks.

Users can then, flash this script into the data logger by connecting it to VSpy. The flashed script is called CoreMini. Later, users can use the logged and extracted data from the data logger for simulating vehicle behaviors, post-analysis, etc.

This is useful for long-term monitoring of the vehicle and post-event analysis.

Scripting and Automation

VSpy includes scripting capabilities that allow users to automate tasks, create custom tests, and perform repetitive tasks more efficiently. Users can script using the Function Blocks feature of VSpy, the built-in scripting language, or Python integration.

Restbus Simulation

VSpy can simulate ECUs or network nodes, also known as rest bus simulation. This enables the testing of new components or systems in a controlled environment, helping to validate functionality before integrating it into the actual vehicle network.

Users can use VSpy’s Graphic Panels and Scripting to create specific functionality in a user-interactive manner.

Visualization

VSpy provides various visualization tools, such as Graphical Panels and Function Blocks, to help users interpret data more effectively. The message window helps plot signal values over time or display network loads, etc.

Protocol Support in Vehicle Spy (VSpy)

VSpy supports a wide range of automotive protocols, making it versatile for different types of vehicle networks. This includes CAN and LIN and more advanced protocols like CAN FD (Flexible Data-rate), J1939, Automotive Ethernet and more.

It supports diagnostic protocols like ISO 14229 UDS, OBD-II SAE J1979 and KWP2000. It also supports measurement and calibration protocols like CCP and XCP.

Reverse Engineering of vehicle data

Engineers can use Vehicle Spy to perform reverse engineering of a vehicle. This helps in creating a vehicle database file (DBC) using the Message window of the Vehicle Spy.

Memory Edit or Calibration

Vehicle Spy allows you to calibrate or edit an ECU’s memory data using the CCP or XCP protocols. VSpy supports ASAP2 (A2L) files, which users employ to edit an ECU’s internal memory variables and achieve successful CCP and XCP communication.

Conclusion

Automotive engineers and developers use Vehicle Spy for network analysis, diagnostics, simulation, and testing. Vehicle Spy software emerges as an All-in-one tool for the automotive industry. With its comprehensive features, easy to use interface, and extensive vehicle protocol support, VSpy enables engineers to tackle the complexities of in-vehicle communication systems with ease and precision.

As automotive technology continues to advance, Vehicle Spy remains one of the most trusted in-vehicle networking tool used by automotive engineers around the world.