Wanna hack your ride? The Macchina M2 is essentially a programmable, Arduino-compatible microcontroller board with an OBD2 interface to communicate with your car’s CAN bus. Want to get full access to everything your car is communicating? Easy peasy. Want to engineer that into your own custom dashboard or data logging? Doable! Want to define your own fuel mapping? Should be possible. Full autonomous? Maybe … and if you do, let us know!
In our testing we went as far as expressing the classic Arduino blink sketch by activating our hazard flashers — we considered mapping that same output to the throttle control, but thought better of it. Hacking using Macchina isn’t as straightforward as other microcontrollers; the CAN bus has been standardized as an interface, but not as a language. Fret not, as there are plenty of open source tools available to you, like GVRET (the General Vehicle Reverse Engineering Tool) and SavvyCAN, a software tool that helps isolate and interpret the codes your car is sending. Once you’ve found the codes you need, you can send them back just as easily — and there are tons of tutorials on the Macchina website to get you going.