As described above, I have the EV-100 wheel pilot, B&G Vulcan 7, Ray wind, speed, depth, and Simrad AIS/VHF, all connected on a NMEA 2000 network. The Wind/Speed/Depth are older ST50 units and I use the Raymarine Seatalk to SeatalkNG to get that data on the network.
The EV100 can steer to a waypoint (provided by the Vulcan7), a compass heading (using the internal compass), or a wind angle (provided by the ST50 wind). The AP control head can display SOG (from the ST50 speed) STW (from the Vulcan 7), Depth (from either the ST50 depth or the Vulcan7), Distance to Waypoint, Time to Waypoint, VMG, etc.
All of the devices can share data. Well the ST50 speed / depth can't receive data from anything else but the rest of the devices all share data.
From my experience with NMEA2000 it really is plug and play. There is some configuration and device discovery that must be done initially but then it just works.
You do need to note that if you don't have a raymarine plotter you won't be able to upgrade the firmware in the EV100. I have installed a few FW upgrades into my Vulcan7. Not sure they did much but it was easy to do. The EV100 works fine but maybe there are upgrades that I can't take advantage of.
Do any of you have a Raymarine auto pilot (preferably the EV-100) connected to a NMEA 2000 network, where your other instruments are from another manufacturer? Does your auto-pilot read data from the anemometer and speedometer?
I spoke to Raymarine Tech Support today and they said that they 'thought' the EV-100 would be able to read sentences from B&G instruments, but they wouldn't guarantee it. I thought the point of NMEA 2000 was that it was manufacture independent, and you could mix-and-match brands. Maybe that isn't true.
If I want a wheel pilot that connects to NMEA2000, Raymarine is my only choice. However, I already have B&G instruments (Triton), and will likely get a B&G MFD in a few years.