Volvo Trucks enhances uptime and connectivity capabilities with new Over-the-Air "Parameter Plus" subscription package
The pace of change in the transportation industry is more rapid than ever and customers are demanding faster ways of communication through connectivity. A supplement to Volvo's Remote Programming, the new Parameter Plus Package was designed with thorough feedback from customers to meet the demands of their applications via over-the-air (OTA) updates while significantly increasing uptime and maintaining a firm cost control. Previously parameter and software updates, where the trucks needed to be brought to the service point, could in all require two or more days of downtime, along with the added work and costs of acquiring a supplementary truck and managing driver logistics. The new Parameter Plus Package with OTA powertrain software, updates can be completed in under 20 minutes and parameter updates in under 10 minutes.
"The Parameter Plus Package is a notable example of Volvo Trucks' emphasis on delivering connectivity solutions dedicated to maximizing uptime for customers," said Ashraf Makki, product marketing manager at Volvo Trucks North America. "Providing the opportunity to complete numerous parameter updates remotely per year is fundamental for certain customers to ensure their fleets reach peak performance and uptime potential."
There are nearly 122,000 Volvo trucks with embedded connectivity technologies on the road today. Just a year ago, approximately 1,300 Volvo trucks were receiving OTA software and parameter updates; today, nearly 16,000 Volvo trucks are benefiting from the OTA update capabilities and the population is growing rapidly.
Leveraging Volvo's factory-built embedded telematics platform and connecting to the Volvo Uptime Center, these updates can take place during a short meal, an operational break or while dispatching a truck virtually anywhere a cellular connection is available. The embedded telematics platform also supports Volvo's latest Remote Diagnostics, which coupled with SAS' analytics platform, helps reduce diagnostic time by 70 percent and repair time by 25 percent. This system delivers more precise data allowing Volvo Action Service agents to pro-actively analyze trouble codes and deliver actionable information to decision-makers and repair facilities, supporting maximized vehicle uptime.
Parameter updates enable owners to switch between operating modes for a multitude of optimizations including maximizing truck performance, balancing fuel usage and performance, maximizing fuel efficiency and configuring maximum road speeds. If fuel prices rise, a fleet may decide to change its trucks' top speed settings. A fleet may also choose to switch programming on a transmission or engine to accommodate application changes, such as switching from dry bulk to liquid tankers or running multiple routes with different topographies.
The multitude of parameter update options are especially ideal for companies with trucks that operate between areas governed by different regulations. For instance, trucks traveling between Ontario, Canada and the United States may require Road Speed Limit parameter changes in order to be legally compliant in Canada, while benefiting from higher speeds permitted in the U.S.
"We are excited to provide customers with this new offering and look forward to continued collaboration with professional drivers and fleet managers to deliver innovative technologies that maximize uptime and enhance productivity," said Makki. "Combining OTA updates with the new Parameter Plus Package presents fleets with potential to save several thousand dollars annually. The opportunities this technology creates and the benefits it produces are truly groundbreaking, and this is just the beginning. Volvo will continue to develop and implement advanced vehicle connectivity in pursuit of its goal of a more connected future."
Volvo is an exhibitor at the upcoming Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Annual Meeting & Transportation Exhibition, where it will show-case its latest solutions on vehicle connectivity. As North America's premier technical conference for trucking, attendees will have the opportunity to connect with Volvo's experts on-site to learn more about how the Parameter Plus Package can increase their bottom lines.