Remote updates coming for Volvo trucks

Feb. 28, 2017

NASHVILLE.  Volvo Trucks North America is adding remote update capability for all of its vehicles equipped with 2017 Volvo engines, transmissions, aftertreatment systems and other powertrain components.  The new Remote Programming service will push our powertrain software updates, which average about two a year, as well as react to fault code conditions that can be corrected with a software download.

The new service, which will go live in the 3rd quarter of this year, is initiated by live agents at Volvo’s Uptime Centers, who will notify fleets when a truck is eligible to receive an over-the-air update, according to Ash Makki, product marketing manager. Once the receive approval from the vehicle owner, the driver will notify the Uptime Center when the vehicle is parked and ready to receive the new software or calibration. Installation can take up to 30 minutes depending on systems impacted, and the agent then confirms with both driver and owner that the download is completed.

Volvo is launching the over-the-air service because up to 75% of updates are currently being ignored because of the downtime involved in bringing a truck into a shop, Makki said during a briefing at the annual Technology and Maintenance Council meeting. “Downtime for doing upgrades in a shop currently averages 2.3 days, and we estimate that a truck out of service costs a fleet about $1,100 a day in lost revenue,” he said.

The periodic updates are important not only for correcting vehicle faults, but also for the improvements they bring in overall vehicle performance, Makki said. “Missing them can mean missing an opportunity to improve efficiency.”

The Remote Programing service is a direct outgrowth of the integrated diagnostic telematics system Volvo introduced five years ago, a company spokesperson said.  Future enhancements will include integration with other fleet management telematics services, he added.

About the Author

Jim Mele

Nationally recognized journalist, author and editor, Jim Mele joined Fleet Owner in 1986 with over a dozen years’ experience covering transportation as a newspaper reporter and magazine staff writer. Fleet Owner Magazine has won over 45 national editorial awards since his appointment as editor-in-chief in 1999.

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