Secure gateway vehicles

A Secure Gateway functions as a digital lock, ensuring that a specific segment of the digital Controller Area Network (CAN) in a car is not easily accessible through the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) port. Typically requiring the manufacturer's key, often exclusively accessible with an original diagnostic device, this measure restricts the development of universal diagnostic tools for all car electronic components. Consequently, certain tasks like ADAS camera calibration or coding a new LED headlight become manufacturer-dependent and cannot be performed independently.

Car manufacturers introduced Secure Gateways as a response to growing concerns about the security of the CAN network, prompted by a 2015 demonstration wherein hackers remotely controlled a car. The implementation of secure gateways, among other technological advancements, addresses this security vulnerability.

Despite concerns about potential complete lockdown of the CAN network, emissions-related data can still be accessed, as mandated by the European Commission. European legislation also enforces the Right-to-Repair, requiring manufacturers to grant universal garages access to the entire CAN network. This access, known as Pass-thru, is crucial for facilitating repairs and preventing a monopoly by original dealers. However, the process of obtaining this access is often intricate and expensive, involving purchasing tokens for limited access periods or acquiring original diagnostic devices.

Currently, manufacturers such as Renault, Iveco, Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep, Audi, VW, Skoda, Seat, and Mercedes employ Secure Gateways to lock their CAN networks. Anticipated to become more widespread, this trend is expected to grow as new cars, mandated to have Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) from 2022 onwards, will require increased camera calibrations, making Secure Gateways a standard security feature in the automotive industry.


At Impact Diagnostics, we offer a range of solutions for secure gateways. Autocom stands as the market leader in this field, while Autel boasts multiple approvals, and Thinkcar also provides reliable options. If you're seeking guidance on this subject, feel free to give us a call. Our experts are ready to assist you in finding the best secure gateway solution for your specific needs. We can also unlock gateways through our remote services via Autel and Thinkcar diagnostics.