KIBES family

Implementing a vehicle control system

Modern trucks, buses, mobile machines and special bodies are characterised by:

  • Comprehensive functionality, easy operation, comfort in operating and service
  • Sophisticated input control (e.g. braking effect is not only proportional to the brake pedal position only, but also to the speed of brake pressing and the current vehicle weight)change of functionality with regard to conditions (e.g. when “the key is off” the direction light switch turns on only one side of external vehicle lighting); blocking angerous or inappropriate modes (e.g. as long as the doors are not closed or the seat belts are not fastened, the vehicle speed is limited; a vehicle passes from the kneeling mode and when the selected speed is reached a vehicle passes from the kneeling mode to the normal driving height …).
  • solution of multiplex electricsMultiple meaning of controls (e.g. buttons for speed change in “cruise-control” mode serve to change idle engine speed when the vehicle is standing or to set up the on-board clock when the key is off…)
  • Easy modification and customisation (usually by a software change without any interference to the wiring); 
    quick and easy extensibility with new functions coming with innovated components in still increasing pace(readiness for the future).
  • Sharing of resources (e.g. central display shows not only the operating states, vehicle diagnostics and statistics, but also the reversing camera view or reports from the company control centre)
  • High reliability and low percentage of downtime due the need for servicing: easy diagnostics when a problem occurs and its quick repair
  • Use of standardised modules, certified and homologated in accordance with legislative requirement in various part of the world.
  • Significant simplification of wire harnesses, their minimisation and unification while maintaining a wider range of alternative aggregates and devices, the number of possible variants and ‘options’; weight loss.
  •  Absence of relays, timers, circuit breakers and other single-purpose devices

An electronic control system of a vehicle or machine brings these positive features.
However crossing from “traditional” wiring (characterised by heavy wire harnesses, a number of relays and fuses and single-purpose devices) to wiring with a control system presents a radical change that can be difficult.
It is necessary to change the whole concept of the vehicle or machine electrics. By its character the entire action is similar to crossing from “paper” to computerised accounting.

Typical stages of the implementation of electrics with the control system:

  • Definition and algorithm of a function scheme
    Fixed and expansion components of the control system, their electric and data connections, the method of integration of all electrical devices on the vehicle including alternative options and optional equipment.
    Parameters for managing alternative options and optional equipment.
    Methods of obtaining input values, logic of output control and blocking unwanted states.
    Range and method of the operating state indication.
    Range and method of the “on-board” diagnostics of individual components, methods of the problem indication and possible automatic reactions of the system to the problems.
    Range and method of the „off-board“ diagnostics.

  • Software creation
    For a vehicle central unit, possibly for a central display.
    For setting parameters controlling a choice of alternative options and optional equipment.
    For “off-board“ diagnostics.

  • Design and production of cable harnesses and switch-boards
  • Constructing and launching the prototype, debugging
  • Training production and service workers, diagnostics installation, creating devices for software recording

Designing and building the first prototype presents a short, usually 3-6 month long, increase of requirements to the capacity of an engineering design department.
The bigger problem is that the new concept requires also a new qualification – designer and programmer of the control system and diagnostic software. The quality of this qualification which significantly influences the speed, efficiency and “painless” transition to a new concept, is proportional to the length of a practice and number of successful projects.

These requirements are significant especially for smaller companies, where the engineering department is busy in resolving current production and non-step development.
However bigger companies have also difficulties, when resolving initial projects of implementing control system, resulting from differences in technology of the computer network and “traditional electrics”.
Therefore, the most feasible way to implement the control system is close cooperation of a machine producer with an external supplier, who has practical experience gained from already implemented projects and assists with mastering the know-how. In many cases, the cooperation continues in a form of outsourcing of specialised activities (especially programming) even after the successful completion of the first project.


The leader in a field of the control system development for commercial vehicles and mobile machinery is theKIBES platform that is offered as a VDO brand by Continental AG.
During 15 years of this platform which is now offered in a 3rd generation, the KIBES modules have proven their advantages in millions of vehicles and machines. The Continental brand is a guarantee of a high quality product of individual modules and future continuation and development of the KIBES platform.

ELBAS is the system integrator of KIBES. ELBAS provides complete engineering service, module deliveries, technical and application support during an implementation of the KIBES system.
Moreover, thanks to its focus and production capacity ELBAS can design and produce cable harnesses and switch-boards for serial production, so is able to supply a complete vehicle electrics including the programmed and parameterised control system.
On the basis of our agreement with CONTINENTAL AG, which guarantees close cooperation, ELBAS is authorised to use the title "Recommended System Partner of CONTINENTAL AG".


KIBES – general characteristics

The KIBES control system works as a digital net of electronic modules that communicate together with other electronic units through the CAN-bus. It assures high reliability and efficiency of the data transfer, resistance to interference and easy extensibility.

Individual, mass-produced, off-the-shelf modules are optimised for performance and price. The “Automotive qualified” certification as well as built-in monitoring of the communication accuracy, detection of short circuits, overheating or releasing outputs are taken as granted. The results of this monitoring transmitted within “on-board” and “off-board” diagnostics greatly simplify debugging and removal.

The KIBES-32 and CAVTAN graphical programming environment serve to program central units or monitors (meeting IEC-61131 standard), which ensures high performance of central unit software development.
What is the task of the central unit software in the vehicle and what are the advantages of its use?

  • Input evaluation                        
    Inputs are evaluated so that one of 4 states “Inactive – Active – Error – Hysteresis” is assigned to the current voltage in the input in regard to specified parameters.
    Logic evaluation is therefore completely separate from the physical state, which contributes to the software clarity and its development effectiveness.

  • Output control                           
    All outputs are switched according to the programmed logic that can use a wide range of software modules: logic gates AND, OR, NOT and XOR, “flip-flop“ modules, timers, edge recognition, arithmetic operation modules, counters, PID-regulators, limiters, type conversions etc.
    Closed blocks that have been “debugged” are easily transferable to a new project and can be created from software modules (self-control door block, air suspension control block, deceleration brake control block, block of disconnecting energy-intensive devices in low voltage in vehicle net.
    This minimises development time and prototyping of new products.

  • Data communication with aggregate control units                     
    The amount of information and requirements of individual devices is transferred in a form of CAN-bus messages via a single twisted pair; e.g. during air conditioner activity when the vehicle is stationary the main unit transmits a requirement to raise idle engine speed to the engine; until all the bus doors are not closed the control unit blocks the accelerator pedal function; after closing all the bus doors the control unit transmits a requirement to ECAS unit to straighten the vehicle body from the “kneeling” state to standard drive height…

  • Control of the instrument cluster, main display and control lights                    
    The specified operating values and states are transferred to such a form and range that enables their displaying on gauges, control lights and driver’s work place display; e.g. speed value is recalculated according to the gauge scale at km/h or mph. when the pressure is under 5.5 bar in the 2nd air tank, the “Low pressure of 2nd circuit” control light is activated… 
    These data are transmitted via CAN-bus messages to the instrument cluster.

  • Transmitting specified messages among various CAN-buses (gateway“ function)
    Control units are connected on individual CAN-buses in regard to their functionality: the powertrain CAN-bus, the body CAN-bus, the instrument cluster CAN-bus….Some CAN-bus messages are required for units connected to various CAN-buses; e.g. a tachograph is connected on the instrument cluster CAN-bus but his information “vehicle speed” and “„speed of the gearbox input shaft“ are also needed for powertrain units (engine, ABS etc.).
    The main unit software ensures transmitting specified messages among various CAN-buses.

  • Input/output diagnostics and message “time-out
    The state of all the control system is evaluated continuously from all the monitored states and possibly activates signalisations and turns up automatic actions (stopping the engine, opening doors, starting fire equipment…)

  •  Loading and saving parameters, statistics evaluating 
    Parameters that modify the control system activity in regard to a concrete product configuration are saved via parameter software to the “flash“ memory of the main unit; e.g.
    diesel/CNG engine, manual/automatic/ automatised, air conditioning yes/no, pressure and tyre temperature sensing yes/no, reversing camera yes/no....
    Records of identified problems or abnormal states can be also saved to the same memory; e.g.
    drive time with engine in high speed, number of communication failures with the body unit…

The KIBES platform offers modules adapted specified requirement for various vehicle and machine categories:

·                      Trucks

·                      Buses

·                      Mobile machinery and special bodies


ELBAS, s.r.o.
Vysokomýtská 1202
565 02 Choceň

Contact us

Tel.:  (+420) 465 471 380
Fax.: (+420) 465 483 096

to top ↑