Major PicoScope software update increases vehicle and collaboration support


26 June 2024

Pico Technology, a leading provider of diagnostic measurement equipment, has released a major update of its PicoScope 7 Automotive software. The latest update brings support for new vehicle and powertrain types, Waveform Library Favourites and Sharing, Guided Tests and Waveform Library linking, new Measurements, Math Channels and Serial Decoders, and Heavy-Duty vehicle speed acquisition in PicoDiagnostics NVH.

For many years, PicoScopes have been seen as the go-to tool for automotive oscilloscope diagnostics within internal combustion engine vehicles. This has become increasingly true as vehicles have increased in sophistication and complexity and the benefits of using the more efficient, accurate, and versatile non-invasive test methods, facilitated by oscilloscope diagnostics, have grown. More recently, the growth of electric powertrains has started to revolutionize the tools and methods technicians need. To support this, Pico Technology has introduced new Vehicle Details options in PicoScope 7 Automotive so that technicians can easily store all the correct data from any vehicle and have it quickly available for later recall and reference. In addition to new vehicle types (e.g. Light Commercial, Heavy Duty, Off-Highway etc.), powertrain types (e.g. Electric and Hybrid), and their respective options, the update includes new options for mileage and hours, and separate vehicle registration mark and vehicle identification number fields. All the updates are mirrored in Pico Technology’s free Waveform Library service, meaning technicians can upload, store, and retrieve relevant waveforms using all the newly available details.

With the rise in vehicle sophistication and associated diagnostic challenges has come the need for increased collaboration amongst colleagues, groups, and communities – one technician does not have to diagnose every fault, and every fault does not have to be diagnosed by one technician. To help this collaboration, Pico Technology has introduced Waveform Favourites and Waveform Sharing. With Waveform Favourites, you can favourite a specific waveform and have it always directly available within your library: for example, you might wish to store a waveform recommended by a technical service bulletin, required by a warranty claim test procedure, or a commonly-referenced waveform pertaining to a regularly recurring fault with a specific make, model, and component. With Waveform Sharing, you can send either a unique Waveform ID or link to each other, or post them within emails, bulletins, documents, or on forums etc. A recipient of a Waveform ID can search for the corresponding waveform directly within the library, whereas a recipient of a link can click on it and directly view the waveform within the Waveform Library.

As well as the PicoScope 7 Automotive software and Waveform Library, Pico Technology has made further improvements to its Guided Tests. Where available, the Guided Tests now provide a direct link to relevant waveforms within the Waveform Library, including a count of the matching waveforms. This Test Linking feature helps users when they suspect the test vehicle’s waveforms might not match the Guided Test’s generic Example waveform and they want to find an alternative reference waveform. In addition, the Guided Test application now remembers your place within it so when you return to it from the Waveform Library you will continue where you last left off, making your PicoScope workflows even smoother.

As part of improvements to vehicle support within their software, Pico Technology’s noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) diagnostics application, PicoDiagnostics NVH, now features support for the worldwide harmonized on-board diagnostics (WWH-OBD) protocol, unlocking workshop access to advanced NVH diagnostics across more than 2 million heavy-duty vehicles within the EU region. The new protocol complements the already-supported J1939 communication protocol and is an additional means to acquire speed information from Heavy-Duty and Off-Highway vehicles. In addition, the update includes user interface improvements to help users select the vehicle communication interface (VCI) and protocol (e.g. OBD, J1939, WWH-OBD, etc.) they wish to use, and recognize when there are issues with PC to VCI connections or VCI to vehicle connections.

"We are thrilled to introduce these major upgrades to our automotive oscilloscope software" said Barnaby Donohew, Pico Technology’s Automotive Product Manager, "we hope it illustrates that we are fully committed to continually providing our users with the solutions they need to meet new diagnostic challenges as the technological landscape shifts."

The new PicoScope 7 Automotive software can be downloaded from