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Bosch updating Esitronic to allow work on access-protected Mercedes vehicles


Bosch is releasing the 2020/1.02 update for its Esitronic diagnostic software that will allow workshops to conveniently work on Mercedes-Benz vehicles which use the new two-stage concept to protect its vehicles’ electronic systems. The new update will allow for access without restrictions through an internet connection and latest Bosch KTS diagnostic tester.

From September 2020, all new vehicle models in Europe must be equipped with secure diagnostic access in accordance with EU Regulation 2018/858. This regulation provides for the protection of vehicle electronics against manipulation and unauthorised access. Following FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), Mercedes-Benz AG, among others, is now also introducing such safety measures in a two-stage concept. By means of the update 2020/1.02, workshops using Bosch Esitronic workshop software will receive the necessary software update to perform comprehensive diagnostic, service and repair tasks without any restrictions even on Mercedes-Benz vehicles with secured diagnostic access.

In order to meet the requirements of the mentioned EU regulation, the vehicle manufacturers work on safety concepts that often include restrictions on access to the vehicle electronics. For this purpose and as a first step, Mercedes-Benz AG is using an extension of the so-called Seed & Key procedure. This is based on a special algorithm that is required to enable the protected functions. The mode of operation is similar to that of a Security Gateway. However, the Bosch solution does not require any registration at the vehicle-manufacturer portal.

Without unlocking, certain functions such as calibration of driver assistance systems will be blocked and future access will be restricted to ECU identification, readout of actual values as well as readout or deletion of the fault memory. Several Mercedes-Benz models produced as of the last quarter of 2019 are already equipped with Seed & Key.
Regular updates of Bosch Esitronic workshop software allow independent workshops to continue working on Mercedes-Benz vehicles protected by means of Seed & Key without any restrictions. No special access data are required, nor is registration via the vehicle manufacturer portal necessary. For the unlocking, the workshop only needs an internet connection and a Bosch diagnostic tester of the current generation such as KTS 560, 590 or 350. As of mid 2020, KTS 250 will also support this function.

In the course of the year, Mercedes-Benz AG plans to further develop its safety concept as a second step. Bosch says Esitronic users will be informed in due time.

Bosch had already prepared its workshop software for working on FCA vehicles with Security Gateway with the Service Pack 2019/03. In this case, internet connection is used to exchange safety certificates between modern Bosch KTS diagnostic testers such as KTS 560, 590 and 350 as well as of end 2020 KTS 250 and the vehicle manufacturer server thus granting access to the vehicle electronics. In line with the FCA regulations, each individual mechanic must register beforehand in order to obtain a fee-based license for activation. Afterwards, Esitronic can be used as usual to perform comprehensive diagnosis on protected FCA vehicles.