Introducing Sygnal DBW

Control accelerator, brake, and steering with the first by-wire control system designed for deployment

The MCM circuitboard
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Sygnal DBW was engineered from first principles to meet demanding requirements for use in safety-critical systems

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Proprietary solid-state circuitry performs all signal muxing without the use of relays.

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Harnesses built to OEM standards, housing rated for IP67+, automotive-grade electronics, and traceability records maintained for 10 years.

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Along with the lowest price-point in the industry, Sygnal DBW can be moved between vehicles as they are retired, protecting your investment and paying dividends for years to come.

Empower your safety driver

Sygnal DBW automatically releases control when it detects interactions with vehicle controls from the safety driver.

In the event of an emergency, the E-Stop button reverts the system to a fail-safe state.

A hand grabbing a steering wheel

On the road to ASIL-D

Sygnal DBW was designed to be used in ASIL-D safety concepts. Sygnal is working toward SEooC certification in 2022.

Dual redundant microcontrollers, power, CAN communications, and signal circuitry are provided.

Extensive system diagnostics are available with fault behavior configurable in software.

The MCM ECU module from the front

Put down the wire cutters

And back away slowly...

Every Sygnal DBW is designed for quick and easy integration with supported vehicles. Simply unplug the OEM sensor connectors in the driver's footwell and plug in the DBW harness.

The MCM module is small enough to easily tuck under the dash for a seamless installation.

The emergency stop button is located in a cupholder for simple installation and within easy reach of the safety driver.

The emergency stop button in a car cupholder

For Engineers, By Engineers

As engineers, we know that one of the most valuable parts of a product isn't the product at all; it's the documentation.

The Sygnal DBW knowledge-base is our first-line of support, constantly refined to give engineers any answer they need as soon as they need it.

A screenshot of the Sygnal knowledge base

Vehicles that can go the distance

Sygnal supports vehicles that are ideal for fleets: low cost, high reliability, great retained value, and global availability

What's in the Box?

Everything you need to take control

The packaging for the Sygnal DBW system
The MCM ECU moduleA wiring harnessEmergency stop button housingGamepad Controller

The heart of the system, the MCM contains dual ASIL-B microcontrollers, dual-redundant power and communication, and our proprietary solid-state signal muxing circuitry. Even with all that, it's still small enough to fit up under the dash with room to spare.

Master Control Module (MCM)

Emergency Stop Module

Vehicle-Specific Harness

USB Controller

With a twist-lock emergency stop button and LED condition indicators, the cleverly designed Emergency Stop Module mounts easily in any cupholder. The housing can be easily reconfigured to allow the cable to exit in any direction for the cleanest integration.

Every Sygnal system includes a modular, multi-part wiring harness built to OEM standards. These harnesses can easily be swapped or upgraded for special applications. OEM connectors are provided for easy integration with no wire cutting.

Use the included USB gamepad after first installing the system to test and confirm proper operation by controlling the vehicle. Also works well to amaze your friends who have no idea what you do.

Frequently Asked Questions

Not seeing your question here?

How does Sygnal DBW take control of the vehicle?

Sygnal DBW generates analog signals that behave identically to the vehicle sensors used to detect human input, such as pushing the brake pedal, throttle pedal, or moving the steering wheel. During the initial setup, Sygnal DBW actually learns the unique signal characteristics of your vehicle.

This means that the OEM safety concept remains relatively intact compared to other techniques such as CAN bus spoofing. It's also minimally invasive and requires no permanent modifications to the vehicle.

Do we have to cut wires or interior parts to install?

Sygnal DBW ships with a vehicle-specific wiring harness that interfaces with all OEM systems without any modification. Simply unplug the factory connectors and plug the MCM harness in.

Depending on the level of integration, you may opt to modify interior or exterior panels, but it's not necessary in any of the Sygnal DBW kits.

Can we control a Sygnal-controlled car without a safety driver?

This is a question for your engineering department. If you're operating automated vehicles in uncontrolled environments, it's critical to analyze the entire system for unacceptable risk and mitigate any potential failures accordingly. Sygnal DBW is designed to facilitate many different system safety concepts, so please let us know if you have questions regarding your particular system.

Can we use Sygnal DBW on public roads?

The Sygnal user agreement doesn't limit where Sygnal DBW is used, HOWEVER (and this is a big however), it's up to the vehicle integrator to implement an appropriate vehicle safety concept. Sygnal DBW is built with lots of useful functionality to implement your safety concept, but it's completely unable to assure anything unless it's being used "in context".

If any of this sounds confusing to you, we suggest you begin your safety journey with a training in ISO 26262 by an accredited firm such as KVA. For the safety of yourself and others, we recommend you don't operate on public roads until you have a safety concept designed, implemented, tested, and documented.

Do we need any special hardware to control Sygnal DBW?

You'll need a CAN interface capable of 500kbps and a computer to connect it to. We use Kvaser products and are fans of the Leaf Light or U100 if all you want is a USB CAN adapter. Depending on your application we can recommend and supply the appropriate Kvaser unit.

How hard is it to switch from DriveKit?

The hardest part will be removing the old DriveKit!

Sygnal DBW includes OEM harness connectors for plug-and-play integration with your vehicle. There's also a compatibility mode that lets the system work with the OSCC protocol (the same one used by DriveKit).

When you're ready, you can choose to move over to Sygnal's more advanced interface with advanced signal integrity, error checking, diagnostics, and security features.

Does it work with ROS?

Yes, a ROS node is available.

Does it have angle-based or torque-based steering control?

Both control models are supported. You can use our closed loop, angle-based control that's built right into the controller or build your own!

Can you support different vehicles?

Sygnal DBW is designed to be easily adaptable to different vehicles. Right now we're focused on adding features to our supported vehicles, but if you have a special project in mind let us know. We can do an initial evaluation of your desired vehicle and then either support you in taking control or put together a special project.

Available now

The Sygnal logoLevel Five Supplies logo

UK and Europe


Clearpath Robotics

North America & Asia

Looking for something?

Find documentation and example code in the knowledge base

Need a human?

Our engineers are standing by to help you out.

Interested in partnering?

Have a great idea how we can help each other? Let's talk!

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