Technical Articles

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Digital Transformation in After-Sales The Next Generation of Cloud-Based Diagnostics

OEM & Supplier I/2024

Discover how Softing TDX is transforming after-sales service with its innovative cloud-based platform. No more scattered information across various systems - TDX centralizes diagnostic processes, updates software globally, and ensures only qualified personnel access critical functions. By linking roles to specific functions, it guarantees secure operations, such as vehicle programming. With a feedback mechanism for continuous improvement and streamlined rollout processes, TDX enhances service quality, reduces costs, and boosts customer satisfaction. Experience the future of after-sales with Softing TDX.

Establishing and Managing Connections between Communication Partners

Automotive IT 01/2024

Until recently, a suitable cable was all that was needed to establish to vehicles and subsystems,vehicle communication in today's remote communication in today's remote scenarios is many times more complex. Numerous communication partners – such as tester applications and vehicle interfaces – must be able to be able to recognise each other from a distance and establish secure and establish secure connections with each other.

Efficient Repair: The Role of Remote Support

Mobile Automation 2023 

Construction machinery is exposed to heavy loads and extreme conditions. The challenges faced by construction equipment designers and operators range from mechanical failures to electronic malfunctions. These problems can delay the progress of construction projects, lead to significant cost increases and jeopardize worker safety.

Diagnostic Systems Accelerate the Development

ATZelectronics | September 2023

The SOVD standard is changing diagnostics. It offers major advantages, especially in interaction with several partners via the Internet. In the early development phases, additional methodologies are necessary to leverage these, since the standard was not developed for ECU diagnostics. In particular, attention must be paid to data processes, which can lead to significant additional costs in parallel systems. For their moderation, diagnostic systems such as Softing SDE can be used, which have been designed for a wide variety of application scenarios and can easily be extended with an SOVD API.

OBD Evolves for Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) and Zero-emission Propulsion Systems

Trucks and Off-Highway Engineering | August 2023 

The SAE J1979 OBD II Modes will be replaced by new UDS-based service requests. Even if the lower OSI model layers for both old and new protocol stacks remain the same, vehicle manufacturers and their E/E system suppliers as well as tool suppliers must upgrade their technology. A mixture of J1979 and UDS-based protocols is no longer allowed. This is a major step in the direction of finally having only one worldwide harmonized diagnostic protocol: UDS on IP. 

Defying the Shortage of Skilled Workers with Remote Expert Support

VEK OEM & Supplier II/2023

Nowadays, modern vehicles are becoming more and more dynamic due to data and software-driven developments, which leads to more complex maintenance and repair processes for future vehicle generations. The acute, further increasing shortage of skilled workers is making this situation even more glaring! To close the large gap between demand and locally available expertise, Remote Expert Support represents an innovative solution. Remote Expert Support is already integrated in our Softing TDX diagnostic tester and supports service technicians with innovative maintenance and repair processes.

Increase in Efficiency with Diagnostic Simulation

HANSER OEM Supplier 2023/2024 (German Magazine)

The increase in electronics in the vehicle massively increases the testing effort. The goal is to increase the efficiency of the vehicle's overall system. After all, it is not only the improvement of comfort that is demanded by customers; the increase in safety is also a must. The increasingly complex tests must test the interactions between the individual systems. This increases the test effort disproportionately and a faster solution is essential.
With our product Softing TCS, a configurable diagnostic simulation with real communication is available, which considerably accelerates the creation of automated tests.

E/E in the Vehicle Manufacturing of the Future


The future of vehicle production will be largely determined by software and electronics. As hardware performance increases and the number of ECUs and domain controllers grows, so does the need for software development. In addition, the more complex E/E architecture and the different bus systems make it more difficult to perform software updates. New approaches are discussed on how cloud-based solutions, Wi-Fi 6 and 5G can improve efficiency in vehicle production. Implementing mobile platforms as VCI offers the opportunity to optimize data transmission and accelerate software development. Future developments and digital production in the vehicle sector must be taken into account.

Standardization Drives Quality and Efficiency in Vehicle Diagnostics

The automotive industry is exposed to strong changes, especially due to the development of alternative drives and increasing digitalization and automation. To meet these requirements, E/E systems must be optimized and networked. Standardization has an important role to play here in optimizing cost and revenue structures.

In an interview with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Goß, Head of the Institute of Vehicle System and Service Technologies, find out what challenges the automotive industry has to overcome with regard to standardization and the new bus systems of the E/E architecture.

Starting the HPC Diagnostics of Tomorrow Today

VEK OEM & Supplier I/2023

Vehicles are becoming ever smarter due to increasing digitalization. And that means they need correspondingly more processing power than can be provided by today’s ECUs. High-performance computers (HPCs) are being integrated into the vehicle so as not to further increase the complexity of the E/E systems and the demands made of vehicle-internal communication. The integration of the HPCs and the connection to the Internet are enabling a new form of diagnostics. This is accomplished with SOVD, the diagnostic standard of tomorrow. With the Smart Diagnostic Engine, Softing currently has a function-oriented diagnostic runtime environment in use which already makes it possible to solve these new diagnostic tasks today.

Efficient diagnostic simulation on CAN FD

CAN in Automation (CiA) Newsletter March 2023  

Diagnostic simulation is the proven means when a test counterpart is not yet or no longer available. Whether in test preparation, in regression tests, or in training facilities. The targeted use of such a solution makes it possible to avoid mistakes.

Cloud-Aided Diagnostics Brings Process Security and Increases Efficiency

Mobile Automation 2022

Long Repair and Downtimes? No Thanks! – Mobile working machinery is permanently subjected to extreme loads. Use under the most difficult conditions has the greatest influence on the availability of the machinery. When it comes to infrastructure-critical devices, such as fire-fighting vehicles, end-to-end operability is in fact essential. Softing TDX is a holistic solution for after-sales.

Diagnostic Simulation Instead of Real ECUs and Vehicles

OEM & Supplier II/2022 

Whether it is a question of validating functionalities, conducting tester regression tests or use in a teaching facility – simulating ECUs or vehicles is the tried and tested method when the corresponding counterpart is not yet or no longer available. 

Digital Assets in Aftersales

OEM Supplier 2022/2023

Targeted maintenance and repair play an extremely important role in increasingly complex vehicles. The paradigm “fix it right the first time” avoids extra costs and increases customer satisfaction. Alongside intuitive operation of the repair shop tester, the seamless integration and intensive use of digital technologies are of particular importance.

Efficient Diagnostic Testing with Simulation

ATZelectronics 07-08/2022

Testing and diagnosing modern vehicles is becoming increasingly complex. The evaluation of the data recorded during operation plays an important role here, as it forms the basis for diagnosing any errors that may occur. In this article, Softing shows how simulation methods can be used efficiently for the use of this data and the preparation of testing.

Parallel Remote Access for Maximum Engineering Efficiency

HANSERautomotive 02/2022 (German Magazine)

Engineering projects are increasingly being handled by teams whose members are spread across the globe or are having to work at home due to the pandemic. Remote access to test objects enables the efficient networking of global and domestic work capacities. Furthermore, the very time-consuming tasks devices under test and vehicles are subjected to during testing and trials are often repeated. So, on the one hand, engineers must be able to access vehicles and devices under test which are distributed all over the world. On the other hand, it is important that repetitive tasks run efficiently and thus as simultaneously as possible. The use of an innovative, remote-capable diagnostic tester that covers the high demands of the increasingly complex engineering landscape and the associated diagnostic functions is thus essential.

Test Systems for Simulating Any Conceivable Test Scenario

VEK OEM&Supplier 1/2022

Modern vehicles contain extensive hardware and software functionality that has to be checked, verified and safeguarded from all sides. This task is particularly challenging because it takes a longtime during vehicle engineering before these components are installed in a real vehicle and can thus be tested in a real environment. With individual function and hardware-in-the-loop (HiL) test systems, any conceivable test scenario can be covered and easily simulated in the laboratory without risking real vehicles or endangering the lives of test drivers.

Design templates in high-end quality reduce the effort involved in tester implementation

HANSER OEM Supplier 2021 (German)

Users make high demands on the interface and the operating concept of today’s diagnostic testers. An intuitive user interface reduces both the time required for users to familiarize themselves with the tester and the usage time for diagnostic tasks during daily work. Creating elaborate, platform-independent testers is complicated and takes a lot of time – time that is often simply not available. Support from suitable editor tools, cross-platform development as well as prefabricated design templates can help. The effort involved in creating anything from individual functions to a complete diagnostic tester in a bespoke design is thus reduced considerably.

Caution: High Voltage!

VEK OEM&Supplier 2/2021

Nowadays, the development of vehicle components and their integration into the vehicle are hardly conceivable without high-voltage technology. The demands made on the electronic testing and verification systems used for this purpose are extremely high and diverse – particularly in the case of electric and hybrid vehicles. Here, safe measurement, testing, verification and application in the high-voltage range are just as important as knowing how to handle complex ECUs or use transparent and reproducible test procedures. Ideally, the tests and checks run automatically with processes and test results recorded accordingly for the necessary proof and certification. This also requires suitable simulations and HV-compatible accessories.

Mastering Flexibility in Flash Programming

HANSERautomotive 03/2021

Today, flash programming ensures tremendous flexibility – across all ECUs and throughout the entire vehicle life cycle. The challenges that arise in terms of performance, processes and the volume of data can be managed easily with the right system architectures.

SOVD – The Diagnostic Standard of Tomorrow

ATZelektronik 4/2021

The Association for Standardization of  Automation and Measuring Systems (ASAM) is currently preparing a standardization of the new diagnostic structure entitled Service Oriented Vehicle Diagnostics (SOVD). Today’s diagnostic tools such as Softing´s Smart Diagnostic Engine (SDE) already offer the potential to meet future requirements.

Ready for the Future: VIN|ING 2000 is an Innovative Leap Forward in ECU Access

OEM&Lieferant Issue 1/2021

Vehicle Communication Interfaces (VCIs) are the central component when it comes to tester systems accessing the electronic control units (ECUs) that perform a wide range of control and regulation tasks in modern vehicles, including diagnostic functionality.

Non-Identical Twins: Repair Shop Diagnostics and Authorization Management

HANSERautomotive 07/2020

There are tens of thousands of individual repair shop testers in the field today. On top of that, they are deployed all over the world by different users with different requirements and authorizations. Improper handling can lead to serious damage. This multi-user scenario can only be mastered with an appropriate allocation of tester functions and central administration. Integrated authorization management fits into the core processes and, furthermore, offers additional security.

Standing Still is Not an Option – Consistent Diagnostics in After-Sales Service

VEK Klock | OEM & Lieferant Issue II/2020

Global after-sales service networks are available for vehicles and working machinery. The aim is to reduce expensive downtimes and even longer-term failures and thus lower the total cost of ownership (TCO). The focus is on offering highly dynamic, efficient maintenance and repair services. This places special demands on tester availability and secure data exchange. To ensure this, a consistent diagnostic concept and the use of a powerful repair shop tester are essential. 

The Machine Has To Work!

OEM Supplier 2020 (German Magazine)

After-sales service provides service networks for vehicles and machinery – often on a world-wide scale. These generally pursue one goal: to reduce downtimes and thus the total cost of ownership (TCO). The core business includes fast, targeted maintenance and repair. This not only requires the use of an efficient repair shop tester, but also places special demands on its worldwide availability and updatability via a modern back end.

Softing envisions secure, reliable predictive maintenance

SAE International | Truck & Off-Highway Engineering Issue August 2020

Modern heavy-duty vehicles, such as trucks and buses but also forestry and agricultural machines or construction equipment, are packed with E/E components that support selfdiagnostic functions and increase the quality of maintenance, service, and repair processes. In service workshops, “right the first try” reduces expensive downtime and saves a lot of money.

This objective is supported by a process that captures the already generated in-vehicle data and sends it to a cloud server for analysis and the creation of vehicle- and/or fleet-specific predictive maintenance sequences. The sequences support the service technician in the predictive maintenance process.

Security Challenges in Diagnostics 4.0

ATZelektronics 06/2020

Remote and cloud diagnostic methods will play an ever greater role in future vehicle repairs. Security, which needs to cover all areas of vehicle electronics in terms of access and  ommunication with external systems, is of central importance when configuring corresponding concepts. Softing shows the challenges involved in practical implementation and which  systems are already available today.

The Swiss Army Knife of Diagnostic Engineering

Elektronik Automotive 06/2020

Diagnostic devices are becoming an increasingly important tool for vehicle engineering, but also for manufacturing and troubleshooting. The comprehensive requirements of modern motor vehicles over the entire life cycle also have to be covered. It is therefore not surprising that there is a trend toward using tools with comprehensive functionality, which, at the same time, are easy to use and simple to adapt to different applications.

Diagnostics and Security: Brave new World

HANSERautomotive 10/2019

Diagnostics and Security: Gateways for hackers and how to close them – As long as diagnostics takes place locally, in other words using a cable connection between the diagnostic tester and the diagnostic interface or the vehicle, it is safe to assume that the diagnostic system is basically secure as far as unauthorized access is concerned. But the picture changes as soon as there is a remote data connection over the Internet.

Biggest Possible Development Efficiency with Remote Engineering

ATZelectronics 10/2019

Development projects are increasingly being handled by teams whose members are spread all over the world. Remote Engineering allows efficient networking of global work capacities. However, there are a number of aspects that need to be considered during implementation to ensure a smooth process.

Moving Forward into the Future – Diagnostics in Global Engineering Teams

OEM Supplier 2019 (German Version)

The automotive industry is facing major challenges due to the complexity of electrinc and autonomous vehicles of the future. As a result, work is taking place in global teams, resulting in turn in massive changes in both engineering and the tool landscape used. The key to successful implemenation is a diagnostic functionality unaffected by the limitations of computers.

Cybersecurity | Protecting a cyber-physical remote diagnostic communication system against cyberattacks

SAE International | Truck & Off-Highway Engineering Issue August 2019

The wireless and remote connection between a diagnostic tester and a fleet of vehicles can be considered a technical masterpiece, but only if new challenges such as closing security gaps are mastered. The article "Protecting a cyber-physical remote diagnostic communication system against cyberattacks", written by Peter Subke (Director Business Development at Softing Automotive), analyzes the components of the cyber-physical system (CPS) for remote diagnostic communication and provides measures to improve the resilience against cyberattacks.

Tracking Down Errors – The Perfect Diagnostic Tool in Vehicle Engineering – Whatever the Application Case

OEM&Lieferant Issue 2/2019

Vehicle engineering is facing a range of challenges. This is why today manufacturers and their suppliers work together at a global level at which they need to be able to exchange data safely all over the world. The range of vehicles is constantly diversifying while the engineering cycles are becoming ever shorter. Vehicles must be maintained over the entire product life cycle which means that more and more tasks have to be completed in an ever shorter time. Softing offers the perfect diagnostic tool in vehicle engineering, whatever the application case.

Paradigm shift enhances diagnosis quality

ATZelectronics 06/2019

Trends like electrified and autonomous driving are leading to paradigm shifts in the E/E architecture. This and the increasing number of variants of electronic control units (ECU) is leading to new challenges in vehicle diagnostics. At the same time this development opens up opportunities for improving the quality of diagnostics and increased efficiency: there will be new ways of diagnosis with even cloud-based systems.

Integrated Diagnosis for SOTA

HANSERautomotive 05/2019

Vehicles of the future will require complex vehicle diagnostics. To satisfy these requirements, Softing now offers a new VCI generation as well as an easy-to-use software component which can be implemented universally for running diagnostic tasks. The combination of the two products covers new use cases and offers users particular benefits.


New Vehicle Interface for the Entire Lifecycle

HANSERautomotive 10/2018

Today’s vehicles feature a wide range of ECUs. These control and monitor various electronic areas; errors which have occurred are saved permanently. For their evaluation there are all kinds of different requirements in the various phases of the vehicle life cycle. This is why the market needs a flexible vehicle interface to cover these use cases as comprehensively as possible. The new VIN|ING 2000 from Softing Automotive supports both wired and wireless access and, what is more, is already prepared for future remote use.

A Miracle of Diversity: Open Test sequence eXchange (OTX)

OEM Supplier 2018

In the automotive industry, diagnostics for ECUs and vehicle functions is constantly gaining in significance, after all, trends such as (semi-)autonomous driving demand increased predictability of the state of all components involved. An important basis for this is the programming language OTX (Open Test sequence eXchange) which, in the form of standard ISO 13209, describes diagnostic sequences for vehicles. One particular advantage is its suitability for a multitude of different use cases.

Big on Prognostics – Smart Data Analyzing

SAE International | Truck & Off-Highway Engineering Issue August 2018

Smart data analyzing procedures that support predictive maintenance will help to significantly increase the uptime of heavy-duty vehicles. The “Evolution of Big Data” symposium at SAE COMVEC 2018 addresses such critical topics.

Diagnostics in the Driving Seat

HANSER automotive 5-6/2018

Vehicles are increasingly connecting themselves with their environment: with other vehicles, parts of the infrastructure, the cloud. And this is in fact the key to new functions such as autonomous driving. Together with the increasing electrification of vehicles, this is placing even more demands on diagnostics - but at the same time is also presenting completely new opportunities.

Diagnostics 4.0 – The Answer of Increased Networking

HANSERautomotive 10/2017

Vehicle diagnostics has been working the same for years: Plug in an adapter and use an expert system to localize the problem. The fault will then be rectified on the basis of the data gained. Updating ECU functions takes place in exactly the same way. In comparison to this procedure, considerable time and cost savings will be able to be made in the future for both functionalities with the extension of the vehicle into the cloud. And this will also lead to a considerable improvement in diagnostic quality.

Implementation of OTX in Automated Diagnostic Environments for ECUs

OEM Supplier 2017

The increasing complexity of ECU software is seeing a parallel rise in the scope of the diagnostic functionality it has to cover – all the more so since testing is no longer limited to valid diagnostic services and parameters. Rather it is also necessary for the response to invalid service and parameter queries to be included in diagnostics. Testing the temporal communication behavior also has to be covered. These additional requirements play a significant role particularly in access scenarios of remote diagnostics.

VCIs for the Entire Vehicle Lifecycle

HANSERautomotive 06/2017

VCIs (Vehicle Communication Interfaces) in a number of variations are used throughout the entire vehicle lifecycle so a test system can communicate with the vehicle. The newly developed VCIs of the VIN|ING product family from Softing take the specific requirements of engineering, manufacturing and after-sales service into account. Highly integrated and powerful hardware and software components make it possible to integrate the entire diagnostic system on the VCI. This means the VCIs are perfectly equipped for the various scenarios of remotely accessing a vehicle.

Softing TDX – ODX- and OTX-Based Diagnostic Framework

HANSERautomotive 10/2016

ODX (Open Diagnostic data eXchange) and OTX (Open Test sequence eXchange) standards are very well established description formats for diagnostics in the automotive and related vehicle industries.

Universal Vehicle Diagnostics in spite of OEM-Specific ODX Data

OEM Supplier 2016

In the past, the support of OEM-specific data was usually hard-codes in the software in each individual diagnostic tool - particularly in the case of "higher" diagnostic functions. A new technology makes it possible for users to configure any adaptions required for the various authoring guidelines themselves and then re-use these for all tools.

The Engine and Fuels of Modern Vehicle Diagnostics: Standardized Runtime System with ODX and OTX

HANSERautomotive 10/2015

In the past, the lack of standards led to high costs and increasingly became a stumbling block to ever faster engineering cycles. Today, diagnostic data and sequences for standard-based systems in Engineering, Manufactoring and After-Sales Service only have to be created once. 

Standardized Vehicle Diagnostics over Ethernet

HANSERautomotive 05-06/2015

Due to ever more complex electronic systems and the constantly growing volume of data in vehicles, vehicle access for diagnostics and ECU programming has to be correspondingly efficient.