Volvo Trucks North America and sister OEM Mack Trucks have both announced a new suite of Remote Programming services. The two companies said the services allow drivers and decision-makers to update parameters and software that enhance the performance of a truck’s engine, transmission and aftertreatment system.
With the new Driver Display Activation, when parameters or software updates are available, an icon will flash on the instrument cluster screen. At the next planned stop, the driver can activate the update via the truck’s instrument cluster and be back on the road again within minutes.
“With the introduction of Volvo Trucks’ new Driver Display Activation, the process time for software and parameter updates has been improved by an average of 50 percent,” said Ash Makki, product marketing manager, Volvo Trucks North America. “Now, from customer initiation to completion, an update can be done in less time than a driver typically takes for a break or fill up.”
According to Maki, this new service means that instead of scheduling an appointment to complete uploads, drivers can completely upgrade the software and parameters on their own, from anywhere, without the need for personal assistance from a Volvo Action Services team member.
“Mack Over The Air was a game-changer, allowing for remote programming based on the customers’ schedules,” said David Pardue, vice president of connected vehicle and contract services for Mack Trucks. “Driver-activated software updates are the next evolution of this solution, giving customers even greater control over how and when their updates occur and allowing for updates to multiple trucks at one time.”
Software updates are critical to maximize vehicle performance and uptime. “There’s a direct connection between keeping a truck updated with the latest software and reducing fault codes, in addition to the truck running more efficiently, improving the environmental footprint and reducing operational costs,” said Conal Deedy, director of commercial telematics solutions, Volvo Trucks North America. “There’s a lot of value in each update and the convenience of Driver Display Activation will allow these updates to be done with minimal disruption to operations.”
In addition to system updates, the new Driver Display Activation allows drivers and fleets to change parameters on the truck to alter the vehicle’s performance. Volvo said it leads the industry in the number of truck parameters that can be adjusted over the air. Parameters for various applications can be customized and packaged in kits that can set maximum road speed, cruise speed limit, shift patterns, idle shutdown time and othe vehicle systems. This ensures the truck is optimally configured for the environment in which it is operating, Volvo said.
For instance, a driver or fleet owner with trucks that regularly travel into Ontario might want to reconfigure speed settings when leaving the U.S., and reset those parameters when the truck crosses back over the border. Another kit might make adjustments to gear shifting if a tanker load is changed from dry goods to liquids, to compensate for the different shifting characteristics due to the loads. Driver Display Activation allows these changes to be made in minutes, remotely, at any time of day.
And for fleets, all trucks can now be batch-updated at one time using the Driver Display Activation without having to contact the Volvo Uptime Center or the Mack Uptime Center for each and every truck in the fleet affected by the update.
The new Driver Display Activation will use a factory-installed telematics gateway, leveraging existing technology present in both Volvo and Mack vehicles. No extra hardware is required.