AirPro vs Astech Comparison

Many ask us “What’s the difference between the AirPro & Astech?” The founders of AirPro (Lonnie Margol & Chuck Olsen) were also the inventors and founders of the Astech device back in 2010. They were committed to address the shortcomings of the Astech aftermarket communications device by developing the AirPro OEM compliant scan-tool to meet the needs of body shops confronted with the continuously evolving technologies of today’s vehicles.

 

Some of the differences are listed below as well as in the diagram provided.

 

Comparison AirPro Astech
Scan Tool is Connected Directly to the Vehicle Yes No
Live OEM Software “Resident” Capable of Utilizing OEM Approved SAE J-2534 Yes No
Modifies and Translates Vehicle OEM Output Data to TCP/IP Language for Transmission Over the Internet No Yes
“10 Minute Response Pledge” Yes No
Ability to Perform Basic System Calibrations Yes Yes
Ability to Perform In-House ADAS Calibrations (with targets) Yes Limited
Able to Program and Flash Modules In-House Yes Limited
Cloud Based Diagnostics Management System Yes Unknown
Skills Based Routing to OEM Brand Specialists Yes Unknown
Services all 2019 and Prior Year Vehicles (except Tesla) No Excuse Chart! Yes No
Records All Scanning, Programming and Calibration Screen Sessions and Audio (optional) Yes Unknown
Quantifiable Cycle Time and Comeback Reductions Yes Unknown
AI (Artificial Intelligence) Enabled Yes Unknown
Totally Wireless Service via WiFi (programming, calibrations and road testing) Yes Limited
Evergreen Warranty – Tool Replaced When Hardware Improvements are Made at No Cost Yes No
Delays Scan Tool and Vehicle Data Responses by Adding Negative Response Codes into Data Stream Which Can Skew Results No Yes

 

Note: Compiled with assistance from the 2018 PTEN Scan Tool Guide

AirPro Differences PDF

GM Collision Repair Network Tools & Equipment List

In October of 2018 AirPro Diagnostics was invited into the General Motors Warren Technical Center in Warren, MI for testing of the AirPro Tool and Services. Multiple GM Engineers reviewed the system and its use of official GDS-II software to meet the GM certification program. The AirPro was approved by GM based on our tool/hardware solution that “Runs GDS-2 locally on a computer on-site with the vehicle.” To the best of our knowledge and from information provided to us, Astech was invited as well.

GM Collision Repair Network Tools & Equipment List PDF

Email to Astech CTO Frank Terlap

2016 CCIF - Canadian Collision Industry Forum

In 2016 at the Vancouver Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF) the results of a scan tool comparison test on a Toyota were delivered to the attendees. Among the results was a chart illustrating the ability of the tools to communicate with vehicle modules. Tools tested included the OEM scan tool, the Astech (OE Assisted) and an aftermarket tool. Below indicates the codes that were missed. One of the most important functions of a scan tool is to identify safety system failures. Astech missed an Airbag safety system code B1831 OPEN IN CURTAIN SHIELD AIRBAG (D SEAT SIDE) SQUIB CIRCUIT SRS. In addition, it also missed code C1280 engine circuit malfunction in the 4wd control ecu.

CCIF PDF

The AirPro Comprehensive Solution

  • Full Vehicle Service Features

Pre/Post scans, programming and calibrations. Few tools can perform ADAS calibrations, fewer yet programming events. Our Windows-based tablet included with the AirPro allows for our ASE Certified technicians to download the most current OEM software applications for services. No additional VCI cables or laptops are needed. Therefore, the breadth and depth of our coverage is superior to any aftermarket scan tool and all other scanning devices.

 

  • Current Model Year Coverage

Most scan tools only cover full functionality up to 2018 and some 2019 vehicles.  With the use of live OEM software loaded onto the AirPro, our complete solution covers all current model year vehicles (2019) and goes back to 1996 models**. If the dealer has the software, so does AirPro.

 

  • Component Level Scanning

Our technicians are trained to use what we call Component Level Scanning (CLS). Each of the systems in a vehicle is made up of a group of components. By being directly-connected to the vehicle, (no latency issues) our technicians get as close to the raw data (live data) as possible. We focus on plausible data, voltage reference, bidirectional control, system voltages & resistances. This gives us a complete picture of the health of the system. In-fact we see faults before they are reported by the control unit and communicate this to the Body Shop via our reporting system.

 

  • “10-Minute Response Pledge”

From the time of submission of a scan request, our technicians will remote into the AirPro attached to the vehicle with 10 minutes. Other remote diagnostic company’s response times are often in the 45-60 minute range. Many times scans can be canceled potentially returning unsafe vehicles to the owner.

 

  • Cloud-based “ORION” Enterprise Diagnostic Management System

Most tools will provide a .pdf report/document but no mechanism to store, manage, consolidate and build reports which can be accessed (with proper credentials) from any device worldwide. ORION also performs skills-based routing to ensure a qualified “brand-specialist” is quickly servicing your vehicles. Additionally, all full-feature scan sessions and phone conversations are programmatically recorded, tagged and stored for future reference and validation at the client’s discretion***.

 

  • Scan Tool and OEM Software “Resident” at the Vehicle

All vehicle manufacturers’ scan-tools are engineered and designed to be directly connected to the vehicle utilizing their most current software. Few tools have the capabilities to perform OEM software downloads. In order to do so, a laptop and VCI cable is needed as well as the ability to manage the OEM subscriptions for each manufacturer. The aftermarket communication interface device, (Astech) does not have these capabilities and is therefore NOT validated as OEM compliant.

  • Uniquely Qualified ASE Certified Technicians

Our technicians perform in-depth vehicle data analysis and test all PIDS and modules. Our certified technicians service the entire collision event, not just the deciphering of DTC codes. During the Pre-Scan process, our technicians use the opportunity to run a system integrity test on any system that could even remotely be compromised by the collision event. We use Component Level Scanning (CLS) of each component in these systems and include results in the report to the shop. During the Post-Scan process, we not only are focused on the collision area but also what could be compromised by the repair process.

 

  • ADAS Calibrations Library

AirPro clients have access to our extensive OEM library of ADAS specifications by vehicle make/model with the targets and vehicle set-up requirements. We train our customers on the initial set up and then perform the calibrations remotely connected to our tool. Because of the fluctuations in internet connectivity, Astech is limited in its ability to remotely perform many ADAS calibrations. Most other aftermarket tools have limited capabilities on ADAS as well.

 

  • Cycle Time / Sublet Expense Reduction

Our patented solution significantly reduces cycle time and the need for sublet dealership repairs or calling in mobile diagnostic specialists. Our research indicates we can save minimally 50% over typical dealer sublet invoice costs.

 

*** These features can be disabled at the client’s request.

 

 

To ensure our services are adjusting to the ever-changing complexity of vehicles, AirPro Diagnostics continues to invest in and research new technologies as well as actively participate in a number of North American conferences (ETI, CIC, CIECA, NASTF) to ensure our tool and services meet the needs of the collision repair community for a safe and complete repair.

OUR SOLUTIONS:

The AirPro is a hybrid, all-in-one, ADAS ready scan-tool compromised of a: 10.8” Windows10 tablet, a high-level, OEM sourced proprietary scan-tool and a SAE J2534-2 device to interface with OEM direct software on demand.

The EuroPro is a more powerful hybrid, all-in-one, ADAS ready scan-tool compromised of a: 12.3” Windows10 tablet, a high-level, OEM sourced proprietary scan-tool and a SAE J2534-2 device to interface with European focused OEM direct software on demand. The extra processing capabilities of the EuroPro gives us the option to utilize more resource intensive applications with dealer-level programming permanently installed for Audi / VW, BMW / Mini Cooper, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover and Mercedes.

The FieldPro is our mobile solution which consists of a small, hand-held, dongle style VCI (vehicle communications interface) for connection to the vehicle’s DLC port and is operated with an application that is loaded on an IOS/ Android phone or tablet. Results are uploaded to ORION and immediately viewable for our highly skilled specialists to analyze and deliver a full report within minutes.

EverGreen Warranty – In order to ensure repair facilities, have access to the latest available scan tool hardware and software for long-term success, AirPro Diagnostics agrees to upgrade the tool at no additional charge when critical or necessary hardware updates are made.

Estimating system integration, CCC Secure Share, Mitchell, Audatex (in process)

In-Depth Look

This is a question we’ve been getting with increased frequency and will be answered with references as completely as possible. Several publicly available links are provided herein for more in-depth information.

The AirPro is a patented, remotely-controlled, OEM compliant scan-tool and programming system that is directly connected to a vehicle.

The AirPro has approximately 98% vehicle coverage from 1996 to current (2019) because of its unique combination of OEM and independent proprietary software. Yes, the AirPro uses both OEM and independent proprietary diagnostic software. The scan-tool software is directly connected to a vehicle and remotely accessed by AirPro Diagnostics’ highly skilled diagnostic specialists to interface with a vehicle’s control module network and systems to perform the various diagnostic procedures required on today’s vehicles.

The AirPro can; read and clear diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) on all systems, calibrate or program modules within OEM parameters, display live data streams (inputs and outputs), command bi-directional controls (the ability to make the controllers do things outside of a vehicle’s normal operations) for customized testing and diagnostics well beyond just displaying a list of trouble codes.

 

The Astech device is NOT a scan-tool. The Astech is an aftermarket interface interpreter (translator) which converts vehicle communication protocols to internet protocol (TCP/IP). Two Astechs, in two separate locations, are required for a remote connection to a vehicle from a scan-tool which is linked together by a non-OEM validated server via the Internet for this to work. A publicly available copy of the patent and method is available for review here: https://www.google.com/patents/US8688313

Scan-tool functions and capabilities are reduced to less than their original design when converted and transmitted in this manner. The inability of any product to convert, transmit and reconvert, automotive protocol data, within a scan-tool’s functional timing parameters, along with inherent differences between automotive protocol communication requirements and TCP/IP communication protocol standards, cause this reduction.

The Astech device also limits scan-tool functionality to only those automotive protocols which have been developed for conversion, thus limiting vehicle or module coverage even further. Hence the need for a “coverage chart” http://Astech.com/media/1185/cds-coverage-chart.pdf  .  One might ask, “if the Astech supports the Chrysler wiTECH factory tool, as claimed, then why is it shown as model dependent or won’t support scanning or programming services on ALL FCA vehicles as the wiTECH is designed?” The same should be asked for every other manufacturer shown with limited coverage on the Astech coverage chart.

Also see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On-boarddiagnostics for publicly available definitions of several vehicle diagnostic and communication protocols

TCP/IP PROTOCOL SUITES

“TCP divides the data into proper sized chunks and then passes these chunks onto the network. It acknowledges received packets, waits for the acknowledgments of the packets it sent and sets timeouts to resend the packets if acknowledgements are not received in time. The term ‘reliable connection’ is used where it is not desired to lose any information that is being transferred over the network through this connection. So, the protocol used for this type of connection must provide the mechanism to achieve this desired characteristic.”

“For example: while downloading a file, it is not desired to lose any information(bytes) as it may lead to corruption of downloaded content.”

“UDP provides a comparatively simpler but unreliable service by sending packets from one host to another. UDP does not take any extra measures to ensure that the data sent is received by the target host or not. The term ‘unreliable connection’ are used where loss of some information does not hamper the task being fulfilled through this connection. For example, while streaming a video, loss of few bytes of information due to some reason is acceptable as this does not harm the user experience much.”

“At the next lower layer, IP adds its own information over the data coming from transport layer. This information would help in packet travelling over the network. Lastly, the data link layer makes sure that the data transfer to/from the physical media is done properly. Here again the communication done at the data link layer can be reliable or unreliable.”

See http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2011/11/tcp-ip-fundamentals/ to reference the above:

“Packet loss”

Packet loss is typically caused by network congestion. When content arrives for a sustained period at a given router or network segment at a rate greater than it is possible to send through, then there is no other option than to drop packets. If a single router or link is constraining the capacity of the complete travel path or of network travel in general, it is known as a bottleneck.”

“Packet loss can be caused by several other factors that can corrupt or lose packets in transit, such as radio signals that are too weak due to distance or multi-path fading (in radio transmission), faulty networking hardware, or faulty network drivers. Packets are also intentionally dropped by normal routing routines (such as Dynamic Source Routing in ad hoc networks, [2]) and through network dissuasion technique for operational management purposes.”

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packet_loss to reference the above

To connect to either a scan-tool or a vehicle for internet protocol conversions and transmission of scan-tool commands over the internet to a vehicle and/or for a vehicle to respond to a scan-tool for data requests or output commands, such as critical calibrations or tests, the internet and IT infrastructure conditions need to be perfect for reliability. When conditions are desirable valuable data and procedures can be performed. However, the Internet and conversion of data is not reliable enough for anyone to claim true OEM scan-tool functionality regardless of the tool being used.

Because of time delays, and the inherent fluctuation of internet transmission or congested internet traffic, data packets can be dropped, re-arranged or delivered out of order causing skewed, inaccurate or incomplete data transmission between a vehicle and a scan-tool when transmitted over the internet.

Therefore, the reliability of the Astech to accurately calibrate vehicle safety systems on a consistent basis can be compromised due to these ongoing, uncontrollable factors.

Hopefully this information helps define the differences between the AirPro and the Astech and helps explain AirPro Diagnostics’ ability to provide OEM-level diagnostic, calibration and pre- or post-scanning services to the collision industry.

Happy Scanning!

AirPro vs Astech

  • The following are FACTS
  • This information was comprised from many different sources

AirPro vs Astech PDF