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The Meaning Behind Maintaining an Active Subscription for Autel Scanner
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The Meaning Behind Maintaining an Active Subscription for Autel Scanner

The Meaning Behind Maintaining an Active Subscription for Autel Scanner

In the automotive community, there's widespread confusion about the necessity of renewing Autel software subscriptions and the consequences of not doing so. This confusion often leads to heated debates among technicians and shop owners.

It's important to understand that even if you choose not to renew your software subscription, your Autel diagnostics tablet will still operate properly. All diagnostic and service capabilities remain functional, and no software is removed. Additionally, any manufacturer-specific software updates previously downloaded onto your tablet and VCI (Vehicle Communication Interface) remain accessible. Both the Android system and Autel MaxiSYS firmware continue to function as normal.

However, the need for an active Autel subscription may vary depending on the vehicles you service, including their make, model, and year. It's essential to consider this factor when making decisions about software renewal.

Security Gateway

Automakers like Stellantis, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and Volvo are increasingly mandating server connections for basic diagnostics and services on their newer vehicles, citing security and software integrity concerns.

Stellantis initiated the implementation of the Security Gateway Module (SGM) in 2017 following demonstrations by cybersecurity researchers. These experts, employed as hackers, showcased the vulnerability of vehicles like Jeep, highlighting how easy it was to remotely seize control and manipulate critical systems such as transmission and brakes. Subsequently, by connecting a laptop to the OBDII port, they could access and control various other vehicle systems. The SGM serves to thwart unauthorized access and manipulation of vehicle systems and components. Although diagnostic software can still read codes without authentication, the bypass cable method, often requiring disassembly of the dashboard for access, proved to be less than ideal for technicians.

FCA AutoAuth

Autel and other aftermarket scanner manufacturers have introduced a solution called AutoAuth to ensure secure system access. This verification system enables registered tablets to pass through the Security Gateway Module (SGM) and conduct diagnostics and services.

Technicians can establish an AutoAuth account and register their Autel tablets, with an annual fee of $50 per tablet. Registration is based on the tablet's serial number, and AutoAuth communicates with the Autel server to verify the device. Motor Age's Pete Meier produced a video titled "Dealing with the Gatekeeper," which provides valuable insights into this process.

Similarly, other vehicle manufacturers have deployed gateway modules and security-enhanced telematics systems. These vehicles require connection to Autel servers to access authentication services and software provided by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) subscribed to by Autel.

Topology & VIN Scan Accurate

The MaxisSYS Ultra series tablets feature a popular Topology function, which requires an active software subscription for server access. This subscription enables the retrieval of vehicle-specific communication networks and module information subscribed to by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), necessary to fully populate the vehicle topology displayed on the tablet.

VIN scans conducted with an active subscription typically yield more accurate results than offline scans due to access to this information. With an active subscription on Ultra, 919, and 909 tablets, users can utilize the Remote Expert platform. This platform allows them to engage experienced programmers and diagnosticians who have OE subscriptions and tools. They can assist in programming modules or provide OE software and data for newly released vehicles not yet supported by Autel's software.

VCI Communication Protocols & Coverage

Having an active Autel subscription enhances the efficiency of your tablet and Vehicle Communication Interface (VCI). Protocol software is often fine-tuned and optimized to seamlessly integrate with the hardware of the unit. If you encounter connectivity issues with a vehicle, consider updating the software on your VCI.

Beyond expanding late-model coverage and introducing service hotkey functions, software updates for the tablets enhance overall functionality. These updates improve speed, streamline processes, and provide clearer instructions. Additionally, they introduce new features such as bi-directional controls on the MaxiCheck tablet and the ability to print and share reports across all tablets.

Final Thoughts

An active Autel subscription provides essential access to updates and support, ensuring that your tablet remains fully functional and optimized for modern vehicle repair needs. While choosing not to renew is entirely your decision, rest assured that you'll still receive valuable assistance from our tech support team via phone, chat, or email at no additional cost. We don't render your tablet useless without a subscription; it remains a useful tool.

However, it's important to acknowledge that without an active subscription, you won't fully leverage your tablet investment. The automotive industry is rapidly evolving, with software and vehicle-server communications at its core. Today's vehicles are complex, running on millions of lines of code and incorporating numerous ECUs and advanced technologies like lidar and radar. Autel's software is designed to communicate with and diagnose these sophisticated systems, making an active subscription crucial for staying up-to-date and effectively servicing modern vehicles.



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