Volvo says software updates can be done while the driver is having lunch.

Volvo says software updates can be done while the driver is having lunch.

NASHVILLE — Volvo Trucks North America is expanding its connected vehicle services with new Remote Programming over-the-air updates for powertrain software and parameters.

Remote Programming uses Volvo’s factory-installed telematics hardware and allows Volvo customers to perform over-the-air powertrain software and parameter updates anywhere in the U.S. and Canada where a cellular connection is available, and at the discretion of the vehicle’s decision maker.

The system works through Volvo’s Uptime Center, which will trigger the required updates once the fleet decision maker as designated through its Asist system OKs the update. The Uptime Center communicates with the driver to make sure the truck is secure, with the key off and the brakes set, Wade Long, product marketing manager, explained to HDT on Feb 28 at the Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting here.

Parameter changes can be initiated at the request of the fleet. For instance, Long said, a fleet might want to change its top speed settings if the price of fuel spikes. Or it may want to change the programming on an engine or transmission to better suit a change in the truck’s application, say from dry bulk to liquid tankers.

Starting early next year, he said, the system will be able to remotely correct fault codes using software fixes.

“You don’t have to go to the Apple store every time you update the OS on your iPhone,” he said. "This is the same general concept. Instead of having to bring a truck into the shop, plug in and change programming while the shop is in for a PM, it can be done while the driver is eating lunch or fueling."

The service will be available in the third quarter of 2017 for all Volvo trucks equipped with engines meeting 2017 U.S. greenhouse gas emissions standards.

“Volvo Trucks continues to invest heavily in connectivity solutions, and we’re proud to bring a true over-the-air solution to market,” said Conal Deedy, director of connected vehicle services for Volvo Trucks. “With Remote Programming, customers can quickly and easily perform updates to help improve the performance and efficiency of their vehicles.”

In addition, Volvo notes, customers who historically have not performed software updates due to cost or inconvenience can quickly and easily keep their trucks operating at optimal performance.