Equipment-less Workshop Diagnostics

Nowadays, workshops usually need at least one laptop, a diagnostic interface (VCI) and maybe additional adapter cables to be able to carry out diagnostic or maintenance work on vehicles. The cost of setting up and equipping the workshop system with diagnostic equipment can be substantial. For a vehicle manufacturer, the integration of a so-called diagnostic software stack directly into the vehicle is therefore an alternative. DSA supplies the necessary software components for such an integration.

By reducing the hurdles for maintenance and repair, removing special equipment and enabling online support for the technician, OEMs can offer the most efficient support for their customers. Once a diagnostic system is installed in the vehicle, no further repair equipment is needed.

Instead of laptops and special diagnostic hardware the workshop only requires a separate device for the user interface (e.g. an off-the-shelf tablet in a ruggedized case), but this device can also be removed if the user interface would be displayed on the infotainment system of the vehicle.

However, a separate device for the user interface is typically more convenient for the technician. This approach reduces on the one hand the total cost of ownership for the workshop, as off-the-shelf devices can be bought. On the other hand, the logistics costs and support costs due to updates, HW issues, etc. are reduced for the OEM. In addition, workflows that were not possible before can be introduced:

  • The 1st level support can support the technician in case of problems as the same information is available without sharing the screen. As the 1st level support has direct access to the diagnostic functionality on the vehicle, additional actions can be executed after proper authentication and authorization
  • Diagnostic information from the vehicle can already be received during the process of receiving or even before the visit to the workshop.
  • The software and parameterisation of the vehicle can be updated independently of the visit to the workshop. This reduces those costs for workshop visits, that are only caused by software updates.
  • Features that are not free of charge can be activated for the vehicle owner after the purchase of the vehicle. In this way, the customer is bound more closely to the OEM.
  • If the customer breaks down with his vehicle, the problem can already be localised and the mechanic can be arranged accordingly.
  • Based on diagnostic information continuously provided by the vehicle, problems can be detected in advance and eliminated even before they occur. This significantly increases the reliability of the vehicle.

Equipment-less workshop diagnostics allows automotive start-ups to have simpler workshop coverage and to monetize the access to the complete after-sales system.

Sven Lüttwitz

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Sven Lüttwitz
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