Mack Announces Over The Air Remote Powertrain Updates

March 06, 2018

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Late last year at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta, Mack Trucks announced its intention to have an over the air, remote software update capability for its GuardDog Connect telematics systems in early 2018. Flash-forward to the Technology and Maintenance Council Annual Meeting, currently underway, and the company has delivered on that promise.

Mack Over The Air is a new addition to Mack Truck’s telematics suite that enables remote powertrain software updates. Photo: Mack
Mack Over The Air is a new addition to Mack Truck’s telematics suite that enables remote powertrain software updates. Photo: Mack

Mack Over The Air is a new remote system that updates engine and powertrain software on Mack trucks equipped with Mack 2017 or newer engines. At a press conference held on the show floor in Atlanta, David Pardue, vice president of connected vehicles and uptime services for Mack said that “Mack Over The Air enables customers to ensure their trucks are operating at an optimal level without disrupting their schedules in today’s hypercompetitive just-in-time economy.”

“This is just the latest step in our journey to provide industry-leading uptime for our customers.”

Since going live in Oct. 2017, Pardue said 20 customers and about 3,500 vehicles have benefited from Mack Over The Air. Mack has performed more than 380 updates, saving customers more than 500 days of downtime and decreasing the time needed to do a software update from days to minutes.

Mack Over The Air is powered by GuardDog Connect, which also provides proactive monitoring and repair planning for 65,000 in-service Mack trucks. Mack Over The Air uses GuardDog Connect - standard on all Mack models with Mack engines - to deliver software and parameter updates directly to customers’ trucks.

Mack OneCall uptime agents in the company’s 24/7 Uptime Center work with customers to schedule the updates based on when it works best for their operations. Once the update begins, Pardue said it generally took around 23 minutes to complete. Pardue said drivers can initiate and complete updates during breaks or while eating a meal — although he noted the truck’s ignition must be on with the parking brake set in order for the update to begin.

Mack Over The Air is currently being provided at no charge on all new Mack trucks during the initial two-year base engine warranty, with customers having the option to extend the service after two years. Mack Over The Air is also included with the company’s extended engine coverage plans. New uptime contract subscriptions include Over The Air features, including two customer-initiated parameter updates per vehicle per year.

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