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(On-Board Diagnostics) A vehicle's electronic troubleshooting system. Dating back to the late 1960s when the first diagnostic computer was employed in a Volkswagen, the OBD system reports trouble codes (DTCs) by plugging in an ODB scanner that reads them.

Initially only used by auto mechanics, today, anyone can plug in a scanner to find out why the Check Engine light is on. Units may only display codes, while others report more information, and some can even predict failure.

Starting in the late 1960s, there were various diagnostic interfaces from Volkswagen, Datsun and General Motors, but in 1991, California required a basic set, loosely referred to as OBD I. However, it was not until 1996 that OBD was standardized for all U.S. vehicles with the OBD II specification.

OBD III has been proposed to report emission failures to a regulatory agency, which requires the owner to have the vehicle serviced before the inspection due date. Very controversial, OBD III is seen as excessive invasion of privacy.

OBD II Connector Type A (12 Volts)
Standardized as the SAE J1962 interface in 1996 for the U.S., a scanner is plugged in to read the codes. This 16-pin socket is accessible under the dashboard.

Do It Yourself
Car owners can diagnose their own vehicles with a handheld OBD scanner.

Maintenance, Tracking and Wi-Fi
Plugged into the OBD port, T-Mobile's SyncUp sends maintenance notifications in real-time to the user's smartphone. Also used for vehicle tracking, trip history and driving behavior, it can even generate Wi-Fi for passengers (see Wi-Fi hotspot).
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References in periodicals archive ?
EPA said its proposed regulation for OBD systems for large trucks and buses would help ensure that emissions control systems work properly for the useful life of heavy-duty on-road vehicles, and one would assume eventually off-highway machines.
The Union Leader reported that the OBD tests are currently "advisory," meaning that vehicle owners are charged for the tests but are not required to make repairs if their vehicle fails.
OBD is already mandatory for new cars in the US and will be compulsory for all new model cars in the EU in 2000.
CalAmp (NASDAQ: CAMP), a pure-play company involved in Internet of Things enablement solutions, is integrating CalAmp's plug-and-play OBD devices and telematics systems into Autobrain's platform.
The launched program since April 2012 is aimed at simplifying the flow of information using Scope's OBD based mileage and driver behavior monitoring device.
According to the Union Leader, the bill, which must now pass both the state House and Senate, requires service stations to monitor OBD readings on all model year 1996 vehicles and newer.
Data Acquisition from Light-Duty Vehicles Using OBD and CAN: An SAE Handbook
RAWALPINDI -- Software Engineering, Electronic Engineering and Computer Sciences Departments of Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) on Monday organized a training workshop on Outcome Based Education (OBD) for the faculty of both the departments.
Oxford BioDynamics plc (LSE: OBD) has been granted a patent by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office covering its technology platform, EpiSwitch, the biotechnology company revealed on Thursday.
The Oman Blood Donors (OBD) team is organising a campaign in three cities to celebrate the 48th Renaissance Day.