Volvo Trucks is now able to offer its customers the ability to remotely update its proprietary engine and powertrain systems on select truck models. The company made the announcement at the Technology & Maintenance Council Annual Meeting in Atlanta.
Volvo calls the new system Remote Programming. It is a new addition to Volvo’s established, and standard, Uptime Service telematics system. According to Conel Deedy, director of Uptime Services for Volvo, the truck maker has successfully updated approximately 1,300 remote powertrains since June of last year, saving those customers an estimated 600 days of downtime or more in the process. He noted that half of those updates were handled by the driver of the truck, with the other half being completed by technicians.
When Volvo determines an engine or other powertrain updated is required, a customer service representative from the company’s Uptime Center reaches out to a fleet or owner-operator to set up a convenient time to complete the process. At the designated time, the truck has to have the ignition on and the parking brake set, with a cellular or Wi-Fi system enabled. Pardue said the entire update typically takes around 20 minutes to complete.
“Uptime isn’t just a marketing word we toss around lightly. It’s about the people, processes and technology we implement to meet our customer commitments,” said Deedy. “Remote Programming is already delivering strong uptime improvements. We see great potential for further improving truck availability and the ownership experience as we build on the platform and capabilities we’ve developed over more than two decades.”
In addition to software updates, Remote Programming can deliver parameter changes to the road speed configuration and allow owners to change between operating modes for optimal fuel efficiency, maximum performance, or a balance of fuel efficiency and performance.