- 1969: Volkswagen introduces the first on-board computer system with scanning capability, in their fuel-injected Type 3 models.
- 1975: Datsun 280Z On-board computers begin appearing on consumer vehicles, largely motivated by their need for real-time tuning of fuel injection systems. Simple OBD implementations appear, though there is no standardization in what is monitored or how it is reported.
- 1980: General Motors implements a proprietary interface and protocol for testing of the Engine Control Module (ECM) on the vehicle assembly line. The 'assembly line diagnostic link' (ALDL) protocol communicates at 160 baud with Pulse-width modulation (PWM) signaling and monitors very few vehicle systems. Implemented on California vehicles for the 1980 model year, and the rest of the United States in 1981, the ALDL was not intended for use outside the factory. The only available function for the owner is "Blinky Codes". By connecting pins A and B (with ignition key ON and engine OFF), the 'Check Engine Light' (CEL) or 'Service Engine Soon' (SES) blinks out a two-digit number that corresponds to a specific error condition. Cadillac (gasoline) fuel-injected vehicles, however, are equipped with actual on-board diagnostics, providing trouble codes, actuator tests and sensor data through the new digital Electronic Climate Control display. Holding down 'Off' and 'Warmer' for several seconds activates the diagnostic mode without need for an external scan-tool.
- 1986: An upgraded version of the ALDL protocol appears which communicates at 8192 baud with half-duplex UART signaling. This protocol is defined in GM XDE-5024B.
- 1988: The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommends a standardized diagnostic connector and set of diagnostic test signals.
- 1991: The California Air Resources Board (CARB) requires that all new vehicles sold in California in 1991 and newer vehicles have some basic OBD capability. These requirements are generally referred to as "OBD-I", though this name is not applied until the introduction of OBD-II. The data link connector and its position are not standardized, nor is the data protocol.
- ~1994: Motivated by a desire for a state-wide emissions testing program, the CARB issues the OBD-II specification and mandates that it be adopted for all cars sold in California starting in model year 1996 (see CCR Title 13 Section 1968.1 and 40 CFR Part 86 Section 86.094). The DTCs and connector suggested by the SAE are incorporated into this specification.
- 1996: The OBD-II specification is made mandatory for all cars sold in the United States.
- 2001: The European Union makes EOBD mandatory for all gasoline (petrol) vehicles sold in the European Union, starting in MY2001 (see European emission standards Directive 98/69/EC ).
- 2004: The European Union makes EOBD mandatory for all diesel vehicles sold in the European Union
- 2008: All cars sold in the United States are required to use the ISO 15765-4 signaling standard (a variant of the Controller Area Network (CAN) bus).
- 2008: Certain light vehicles in China are required by the Environmental Protection Administration Office to implement OBD (standard GB18352) by July 1, 2008. Some regional exemptions may apply.
- 2010: HDOBD (heavy duty) specification is made mandatory for selected commercial (non-passenger car) engines sold in the United States.
Read more about this topic: On-board Diagnostics
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