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Volvo designed its new VNL tractor to be much more than just a new truck. It's an all-new technology platform that will serve the entire globe. And that means it was designed from the get-go to be fully integrated with existing telematics technology — as well as future connectivity systems. 

With the launch of the new VNL, Volvo Trucks North America said it intends to “revolutionize” the realm of commercial vehicle connectivity. That’s why the new truck was designed from the ground up with connectivity features designed to increase customer satisfaction and profitability, the OEM said in a press release. These features are only the beginning, Volvo said. It will continue to introduce new features to its expanding connectivity portfolio.

The all-new Volvo VNL is integrated with Volvo Connect. This is Volvo’s comprehensive fleet management portal. It provides a one-stop shop for all of Volvo Trucks digital services including vehicle data insights, diagnostics, remote programming, fuel economy reports, safety reports, map, and location services. And all of those features can be accessed under one platform.

“With the new Volvo My Truck app, drivers can stay in touch with their VNL truck from wherever they are,” said Magnus Gustafson, vice president of connected services, Volvo Trucks North America. “And Volvo Trucks' Uptime Center remotely monitors the truck 24/7, alerting drivers and dealers to critical issues.

"The all-new Volvo VNL is the most connected truck ever designed by Volvo Trucks and transforms the way fleets maximize the benefits of their VNL trucks.”

E-Call First Automatic 9-1-1 Connection

Calling it an industry first, Volvo Trucks has introduced its E-Call emergency response system. E-Call is a self-activating crash notification system. It automatically connects drivers with a 9-1-1 dispatcher via a hands-free call, where cellular connectivity is available, in the event of a rollover or airbag deployment. Precise location details are provided directly to emergency responders for faster and more accurate response.

Fleets can also choose an optional call button for the driver to initiate a call with 9-1-1 in the event of a medical emergency or another situation where help is needed. With an Uptime Care subscription, fleets will also receive an e-mail from the Volvo Uptime Center, notifying the fleet manager about the 9-1-1 call.

A Fully Integrated ELD Solution

With electronic logging device mandates in place across North America, Volvo Trucks said the new VNL will also provide a fully integrated ELD solution.

This new system is powered by Geotab. It allows drivers to maintain their logs through the truck’s optional infotainment screen and eliminate the need for an externally mounted ELD device. Drivers can review logs while resting or away from the truck simply by logging in on a smartphone or tablet. 

All-in-One Fleet Management Portal

The all-new Volvo VNL and fleet operations will also be optimized through advancements in Volvo Connect, according to Volvo. Volvo Connect is the OEM's all-in-one fleet management portal. It was launched in October 2023.

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Using Volvo Connect, fleet managers can see every Volvo truck in their fleet through one secure portal. They can also view critical truck data such as fuel mileage data, over-the-air software updates, driver behaviors and safety practices, and potential Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC).

Volvo Connect generates easy-to-read reports, Volvo said. These allow fleet managers to quickly access and analyze data points related to fuel consumption and safety, as well as see individual employee driving patterns.

Using this information, fleets can provide feedback on ways each driver can become more safe, productive, and efficient. These reports provide details on total driving time in top gear, fuel efficiency, idle time, and seat belt usage to name things it can monitor and track. 

Volvo Connect provides both near-real-time and historical data for fleet managers. Through live maps, fleet managers can monitor vehicle and route information, traffic conditions, speed, fuel level, odometer, engine hours, and more.  Fleet managers can also view the specific truck specs, comparing those specs to duty cycles.

Volvo Remote Programming is another feature which gives fleets parameter settings that can easily be viewed and updated by calling Volvo Action Services. These settings can be used by fleet managers to optimize truck performance and efficiency, such as road speed limit and idle shutdown.

“Volvo Trucks worked collectively with customers on designing Volvo Connect to benefit every area of their business,” said Chayene De Souza, product marketing manager, Volvo Truck North America.

“Pairing Volvo Connect with expanded Remote Programming and Remote Diagnostics that maximize uptime by enabling routine software updates and parameter setting changes to occur while the truck is being loaded or the driver is taking a break, which can decrease unnecessary stops at the dealership and keep trucks running efficiently.

"This holistic approach to connectivity brings unprecedented benefits to our customers, including 24% fewer unplanned stops, which leads to greater uptime.”

My Truck App Providing a New Connection Between Driver and Truck

Another new connectivity feature is Volvo’s new My Truck App. Volvo said the app was designed with drivers in mind. The app provides the driver access to their truck through their smartphone or tablet.

The My Truck app includes essential truck information such as engine fluid levels, like oil and DEF (diesel exhaust fluid), as well as information on potential exterior light faults, low coolant levels and more. Drivers can also use the My Truck app to control and schedule the climate control on their all-new Volvo VNL to start on specific days and times, ensuring the cab is at the preferred temperature before arriving to start the workday.

Maximizing Uptime with Connectivity 

Software status and available updates are areas where fleet managers can utilize Volvo Connect to maximize uptime, according to Volvo.

With the Volvo Connect portal, managers can view current updates and notify the driver or fleet maintenance technician to perform the update. These updates help keep trucks performing at peak levels and may prevent issues or unplanned stops from occurring.

An updated and optimized truck performs better as software is continuously enhanced to optimize the driveline and other components on the truck. Volvo Trucks that are updated with the latest OTA updates experience 24% fewer unplanned stops, which results in increased uptime for customers and drivers, the OEM said.

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While preventive maintenance and repair work may be inevitable through the life of the truck, by leveraging Remote Diagnostics, repair work at an authorized dealer may be transmitted in advance to expedite the service event and return the truck to service as quickly as possible.

Through a completely new electrical architecture, Volvo said the Remote Diagnostics capabilities on the all-new VNL are more accurate and monitor more areas on the truck than ever before. Additionally, with Remote Diagnostics, fleets can determine if the truck can remain in service until the next planned maintenance event or if it needs to come out of service for immediate attention.

All monitoring is facilitated through Volvo Trucks’ 24/7 Uptime Center in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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