Sygnal – safety critical drive-by-wire

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Sygnal Drive-by-Wire is the first by-wire control system developed for autonomous fleets.  Offering CAN-based control of accelerator, brake, and steering, the solution has been designed for rigorous on-road systems at a competitive price point that scales swiftly with volume.

A straight replacement for Kia Soul and Kia Niro currently equipped with Polysync or OSCC, Sygnal DBW has direct compatibility with existing Open Source Car Control API allowing you to upgrade software at your own pace.

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Sygnal drive-by-wire (DBW) was engineered from first principles to meet the demanding requirements for use in Automotive Safety Level D concepts.  Dual redundant microcontrollers, power, CAN communications, and signal circuitry are provided, while extensive system diagnostics are available with fault behaviour configurable in the software.

The system can be configured to detect interactions with vehicle controls from the safety driver, disabling automatically, and in the event of an emergency, the E-Stop button reverts the system to a fail-safe state.


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


Redundancy, automotive-grade components, and extensive diagnostics ensure the Sygnal DBW is ready for use on-road (when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions and as part of an adequately designed system to mitigate unacceptable risk).

  • Harnesses built to OEM standards
  • Housing rated IP67+
  • Automotive-grade electronics
  • Traceability records maintained for 10 years

30-minute install

Retain high vehicle resale value with OEM-grade plug-and-play wiring harness, ensuring easy installation without the need for wire cutting or permanent modifications.  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 compact enough to tuck under the dashboard and the emergency stop button is located in the cupholder for simple installation, within reach of the safety driver.

Extraordinary economy

With the lowest purchase cost in the industry, that scales rapidly with volume, Sygnal DBW is a key part of large, profitable AV operations.  Sygnal can be moved between vehicles as they are retired, protecting your investment and paying dividends for years to come.

PolySync DriveKit or OSCC replacement

Sygnal DBW is a straight replacement for Kia Soul and Kia Niro currently equipped with Polysync or OSCC, with direct compatibility with existing Open Source Car Control API allowing you to upgrade software at your own pace.

Dynamic documentation

As engineers themselves, the team at Sygnal understand that one of the most valuable parts of the product isn’t the product itself; it’s the documentation.  The Sygnal DBW Knowledge-Base is the first line of support, constantly refined to provide engineers the answers they need as soon as they need them.


Master Control Module (MCM)

The heart of the system, the MCM contains dual ASIL-B microcontrollers, dual-redundant power and communication, and proprietary solid-state signal muxing circuitry.  Celver, ocmact design means that it will fit up under the dashboard with room to spare.

Plug-and-play wiring harness

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.

Emergency-stop module

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.

Gamepad controller

Use the included USB gamepad after first installing the system to test and confirm proper operation by controlling the vehicle.


The Sygnal DBW system has been designed from the ground up for safety and reliability. Dual-redundant processing, power, communications, and signal generation provide a high level of versatility for complying with the integrator’s safety requirements. Developer-friendly features such as ‘learn mode’ and CAN-based configuration make it swift and simple to adapt to your application.


Two fully redundant, dual-core real-time MCUs are co-located on the MCM board, each capable of full fail-safe control of the system.

  • Solid-state, passive fail-safe condition for all output signals
  • TUV-qualified functional safety compliant MCUs
  • Automotive-grade hardware throughout


Redundant wide-input power supplies are each capable of full system power provision. Power can be supplied from diverse sources and paths if necessary, to support the integrator’s safety case.

  • Voltage – 6-28 VDC Nominal
  • Power – < 0.5 A


All external communications are implemented in CAN, including diagnostics and firmware update. Dual channels are available for redundancy if required by the integrator.

  • Dual CAN – 500Kbps


Signal input and output are tailored to the redundant by-wire control sensors found in automotive applications but can be configured for a wide variety of signal types.

  • Input – 6 x 12-bit ADCs for input sensing
  • Output – 6 x 12-bit DACs configurable for analogue, digital, or PWM out
  • Relay –  2 x SPDT solid-state relays (commonly used for brake lights)
  • Control – Built-in accelerated PID and non-linear PID

Mechanical & Environmental

Automotive-grade composite enclosure fits easily beneath the dash of most vehicles, minimising wire lengths and simplifying install.

  • Temperature –  -40ºC to 85ºC
  • Temperature life – 1000hrs at 85ºC
  • Sealing – IP67
  • Salt spray – 96hrs
  • Moisture cycling – 320hrs (40-8 hour cycle) at -40ºC – 85ºC
  • Fluid resistance – resists most fluids found in industrial applications


Sygnal is working toward qualification of the MCM as a Safety Element out of Context (SEooC). Current versions of the MCM may be eligible for in-context qualification by the integrator, with support from Sygnal.


  • Automotive TXL wire
  • Fully sleeved for abrasion resistance
  • USCCAR 1.5mm standard connectors (Molex MX150)
  • Vehicle-specific sensor plugs for plug-and-play install
  • Cup-holder-mounted emergency-stop button

Software and documentation

  • Example applications available in Python
  • USB gamepad controller provided for set-up demo
  • Online document portal access included


Additional information


Data sheet

Sygnal DBW data sheet

Product comparison and compatible vehicles

Sygnal DBWPolySync DriveKitOSCC
Able to be used on public roads*YesNoNo
Redundant microcontrollersYesNoNo
Redundant power suppliesYesNoNo
Redundant communication channelsYesNoNo
Solid-state signal switchingYesNoNo
Integrated diagnosticsYesNoNo
-40 to 80°C temperature rangeYesNoNo
IP67+ housingYesNoNo
OEM-grade wiring harnessYesYesNo
Installation locationDriver footwellUnder driver seatDriver footwell

* integrator is responsible for the implementation of an appropriate vehicle safety concept

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

Kia Niro PHEV, EV and E-Niro (2020+)

Sygnal’s flagship vehicle is the 2017+ Kia Niro. Sygnal DBW works with all models and trims, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and EV. This workhorse AV platform has ample interior volume for equipment, a comfortable passenger cabin, and extremely low operating costs.

Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV is a smaller vehicle with ample trunk volume for equipment. Used versions can be sourced for less than £6K, making the Soul EV an economical option for fleets or early AV technology development.

Custom integrations

Sygnal DBW was designed for maximum versatility, the technology can be easily adapted for both retrofit and OEM applications.

Finance and Shipping

Restrictions on customers

Please note that due to the high average transaction costs, we must adhere to Anti-money laundering legislation.  For new customers, this comes into effect when the transaction value is more than £8,800 (or equivalent in USD or EUR).

Please note that some products are restricted so we typically do a brief check on location and customer information before accepting self-service orders.

Online ordering (self service)

On orders up to £8,800 (or equivalent in USD or EUR), we offer online ordering with payment by all major credit cards. Payments can be made in GBP only.

Payment options for transactions over £8,800

Please contact us to complete our ‘Know Your Customer’ form for payments in advance (by BACS or Card) above this amount, or apply for a full ‘Credit Account’ for up to 30 days credit, on account.  Payments can be made in GBP, EUR or USD.


Shipping by default is by FedEx and typically takes from one to five working days worldwide.  All packages are fully insured from us to you.

Our incoterms are DDP (for UK customers) and DAP (for international customers, including EU).  Other incoterms may be available on request in special circumstances.

Goods can also be collected from our logistics centre.

Loan finance

Level Five Supplies is pleased to offer finance as a payment option, iur appointed partners can work with you to make equipment purchase more straightforward.

There are many reasons to consider using finance:

  1. Improves Cash Flow: When you finance your equipment, your cash isn’t tied up in the equipment. Instead, it’s free for other investments that will grow your business, produce income, and ensure the equipment you acquire earns profits over its lifetime.
  2. Preserves Other Lines of Credit: Tomorrow can bring many opportunities. Financing equipment means you’ll have the credit available (either from the bank or other sources) to take advantage of future opportunities.
  3. Hedges against inflation: Your monthly payment remains the same over the term of the lease or loan. Money paid later in the term usually have less purchasing power than those paid at the beginning of the term…so you pay for today’s equipment needs with tomorrow’s lower-value currency.
  4. Provides 100% financing: Even “soft costs” such as training, shipping, installation, and maintenance agreements can usually be included. So you can rest easy knowing that these associated costs won’t disrupt your cash flow.
  5. Simplifies equipment changes: Hiring additional workforce? Increasing efficiency? Additional equipment can easily be added to your existing loan or lease. Or, if you’re trying to stay ahead of the competition by staying ahead of technologies, the equity in your financed equipment can be applied toward the loan or lease of new equipment. These options solve the problems of obsolescence – and make your job easier.
  6. Eliminates hidden charges: You have no compensating balances, no closing costs, and no blanket liens or other restrictive covenants that banks use to increase customers’ cost. What you see is what you get.
  7. Offers excellent rates: Our finance partner rates are highly competitive.
  8. Saves on taxes: Depending on the type of finance agreement you select, as much as 100% of your payments may be tax deductible.
  9. Offers many payment programs: Our finance partners work for you, not us. You choose the type of loan or lease that best fits your needs, and you select the length of the loan or lease term.

The finance agreement is between you and the lender, and we don’t take commission or referral fees – but we’ve done the preparatory work of allocating a broker for the US, and another for Europe, explaining the technology, validating supplier products and explaining how the technology will be used so your application process is simplified and focused entirely on the financials.

The initial part of the process usually takes less than an hour and means that you can spread the cost of a higher value purchase of equipment like this over several months or even years, allowing you to better plan your project or department budgets, but also means you can get what you need over the coming years, not just what you can afford today.

Contact our Sales team to discuss your needs further.