Token bus is a network implementing the token ring protocol over a "virtual ring" on a coaxial cable. A token is passed around the network nodes and only the node possessing the token may transmit. If a node doesn't have anything to send, the token is passed on to the next node on the virtual ring. Each node must know the address of its neighbour in the ring, so a special protocol is needed to notify the other nodes of connections to, and disconnections from, the ring.
Token bus was standardized by IEEE standard 802.4. It is mainly used for industrial applications. Token bus was used by General Motors for their Manufacturing Automation Protocol (MAP) standardization effort. This is an application of the concepts used in token ring networks. The main difference is that the endpoints of the bus do not meet to form a physical ring.
Due to difficulties handling device failures and adding new stations to a network, token bus gained a reputation for being unreliable and difficult to upgrade.
In order to guarantee the packet delay and transmission in Token bus protocol, a modified Token bus was proposed in Manufacturing Automation Systems and flexible manufacturing system (FMS).