Research & Development

We have decades of experience and broad knowledge in the field of international standards for test, diagnostic and communication technology and always guarantee our customers standard-compliant products. In addition, we research new technologies and future innovations and so we have always our fingers on the pulse of time.

Find out more about the most common standards and protocols as well as our current research projects on this page.




ODX (Open Diagnostic Data eXchange, ISO 22901-1) is a formal, machine-readable description language for the diagnostic interface of ECUs. Originally developed by the ASAM e.V. association as ASAM MCD-2D, the last state became ISO standard in 2008. ODX was developed to enable a standardized data exchange between automotive, ECU and tool manufacturers. As a side effect, it also makes the flow of information within a company much more efficient.

The ODX specification includes the data model for describing all diagnostic data of a vehicle control unit such as diagnostic error codes, data parameters and identification data. Also input/output parameters, coding information or communication parameters are included. It is a mandatory component of a diagnostic stack according to ISO 22900 (modular vehicle communication interface).

All control units support various standardized diagnostic protocols for error analysis and maintenance. In ODX, all these diagnostic interfaces are described uniformly and standardized. A tester (external or even installed in the vehicle) exchanges information with the control units. ODX describes how the data sent by the ECU via UDS protocol must be translated into values readable by humans (and programs).


The D-PDU API (ISO 22900-2) is a standardized, universal programming interface for accessing a Vehicle Communication Interface (VCI).

The use of standardized diagnostic interfaces is becoming more significant in communication with control units in the field of vehicle diagnostics. With the ISO 22900-2 standard, a universal, powerful diagnostic and communication interface has been established. The standard offers a defined C interface as well as a uniform system integration. In addition, by means of an event-driven interface design a very high application performance can be achieved.


OTX (Open Test Sequence eXchange, ISO 13209) is an international standard for the formal description of diagnostic and test sequences in the automotive industry. It complements the ODX format used to exchange diagnostic data.

The OTX format is relevant to the areas of development, production and service. Here, it enables the exchange of diagnostic procedures between process partners with different platforms and diagnostic testers. Thus, procedures can easily be reused and extended if necessary.

With the sequence language OTX, diagnostic sequences can be displayed at the specification level and at the same time contain enough implementation details. Moreover, OTX directly supports the variant management, whereby the adaptation of processes to e.g. different vehicle model variants is simplified significantly.

The OTX standard consists of three parts:

  • ISO 13209-1 describes the motivation and cases of application.
  • ISO 13209-2 defines the core language, which includes all language elements incl. procedure declarations, control structures, expansion options and troubleshooting. The core language is kept generic and therefore also suitable for applications outside of the automotive industry.
  • ISO 13209-3 determines the standardized extensions (OTX interface definitions). These provide new instructions and data types, which are, for example, tailored for diagnostic communication with the control units of vehicles, for handling of measured values or for interaction with the user.


ISOBUS (ISO 11783) describes a universal communication and transmission system for agricultural machinery that are based on the CAN 2.0B protocol. The ISOBUS data technology or the ISOBUS protocol primarily standardizes the communication between agricultural machines and onboard electronic systems or add-on devices. But also the data transfer between these mobile systems and the agricultural management software is standardized and products from different manufacturers are made compatible with each other.

The ISOBUS standard defines a serial data network for control and communication in commercial vehicles. Thereby, methods and formats are standardized that represent the data transfer between sensors, actuators, control elements, information memory and visual display units.

You can find further information under ISOBUS - AEF Online and CC-ISOBUS.




Research Projects


As a result of the increasing digitization and automation, ever greater amounts of data are generated in automotive production. At the same time, the high degree of division of labor in industrial production processes causes that data sources are distributed across different, independent companies. The aim of the research project PRO-OPT is to support companies in performing an effective and intelligent analysis of large amounts of data in decentralized cooperation structures, so-called "smart ecosystems".

The research project examines such ecosystems as an example of the automotive industry: Vehicles represent extremely complex overall systems, which consist of components of various suppliers. This complexity is also reflected in the related ecosystem. By means of big-data strategies and in consideration of access authorizations, comprehensive data analyzes are enabled locally on the individual data sources or made more efficiently. The resulting individual outcomes are then combined to one overall result. The research and development project PRO-OPT is funded as part of the smart data technology program of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs. The project has started in January 2015 and ended in December 2017.

Here, you find more information.

Service Oriented Vehicle Diagnostics (SOVD)

The introduction of new functionalities such as autonomous driving or connectivity with external entertainment and IT systems is leading to fundamental technical adaptations in vehicle networks.

Especially the HPCs (high performance computers) in particular prove to be a challenge for vehicle diagnostics.

These powerful multi-core and multithreaded computers have complex operating systems and software components. As a result, a new diagnostic protocol is required to analyze and diagnose not only the hardware components but also the application software running on HPCs.

New technologies such as Wi-Fi and mobile broadband (4G, 5G) allow remote access to the vehicle diagnostic interface. Remote diagnostics, software updates, coding and parameterization are now feasible without a physical connection to the vehicle.

As a member of the ASAM workgroup, DSA is researching and developing a new standard for vehicle diagnostics. The aim of the project, which is known as ASAM SOVD, is to ensure that the new standard can be used to enable both the new HPC-related diagnosis and the previous conventional diagnosis.

In particular, the following three scenarios are considered as use cases for the new standard: Proximity diagnosis, remote diagnosis and onboard diagnosis.

govchain nrw

Since October 2019 DSA has been involved in the "govchain nrw" project. The project is funded by the funding program " Digitale Modellregionen in NRW ". The funding agency is the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitization and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia.

No new Internet technology is currently discussed as much as the blockchain. In particular for the public sector of administration, supply and disposal as well as mobility, the technology has great potential. The aim of the "govchain nrw" project is to implement secure, efficient and serviceable applications on a NRW-wide municipal blockchain infrastructure, thereby providing benefits.

In the context of Internet of Things (IoT), use cases are evaluated that enable automated business models: for example, in the collection of environmental and mobility data in the municipalities, in automated weighing processes of refuse collection vehicles or in the field of predictive maintenance.

Further information about the project can be found at


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