CAN Hardware Selection:
For a quick overview of the most popular CAN hardware out there and the one I would recommend for your application check out my write-up in the component overview section for the CAN Hardware.
My CAN Hardware Selection:
Now if I would have stayed with the arduino/EVTV hardware I'd be much further along, as I was already sending and receiving CAN messages with the arduino due & EVTV CAN shield months ago. I do truly feel though that a more reliable and safety focused board is needed when steering, throttle, and brake control is involved.
This new board gives me added computational horse power, communication lines, and peripherals. The more I thought about it the more I realized that if I'm going to be teaching myself how to design an embedded CAN system I might as well just go for the best on the market so it'll be capable of most/all of my ambitions for this car. It'd be pretty frustrating if I later realized that I really needed a feature of this better hardware.
Leaving the arduino environment wasn't a trivial decision though. There are libraries for pretty much everything. Rarely do you ever have to pull out a component data sheet to figure out how to interface with something or even make much custom hardware as there's a good chance there's already a shield made for whatever you're doing.