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February 26, 2020 12:30 PM, EST

Volvo to Share Fleet Performance Details With Dealers

VolvoThe Volvo booth on the exhibit floor. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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ATLANTA — Volvo Trucks North America has developed an internal tool called Expert Analysis for reviewing fleet operational performance and will put it in the hands of dealers and some customers later this year.

“It’s new to be talked about. This is an analytic tool that we developed internally for analyzing our powertrain components, and we run that actionable insight into a dashboard that shows details on a fleet,”Ash Makki, VTNA product marketing manager, told Transport Topics. “This has mainly been for our corporate salespeople” who run the VIN numbers and inform a fleet how its trucks are performing against an anonymous baseline, and make recommendations on future purchase decisions.

VTNA discussed the tool at American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting.

The analysis also gives VTNA information on where to push software updates to the trucks, Makki said.

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“We have a serious conversation about your fleet. We come in and do a deeper dive on the terrain where your trucks are running, analyze fault codes,” he said, “What are the majority of fault codes: aftertreatment, engine, engine control unit? Then we would compare that with a general population that has, for instance, the same axle ratios, horsepower.”

The tool has caught the attention of VTNA dealerships that, after some training, will have access to it by the end of the year.

“We think it is a great idea to strengthen the relationship between the dealer and the customer,” he said.

Some customers also are asking for the operational insights.

“That’s another evolution,” Makki added.

VTNA is a subsidiary of Volvo Group, along with Mack Trucks. 

In related news, VTNA announced it is rolling out a new version of Driver Display Activation, its remote programming services. The upgrade allows drivers to update software and parameters at any time, from anywhere they have cellular service.

Software updates are critical to maximize vehicle performance and uptime, while parameters can, for example, set maximum road speed, cruise speed limit, shift patterns and idle shutdown time. Driver Display Activation will be available in the fourth quarter.

With the new feature, 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.

This new service means that instead of scheduling an appointment to complete uploads, drivers can upgrade the software and parameters from anywhere without the need for personal assistance from a Volvo Action Services team member. That could potentially save 50% of the time required to make the changes.

Agent assistance still will be available through Volvo Trucks’ Uptime Center in Greensboro, N.C.

The new Driver Display Activation will use a factory-installed telematics gateway, leveraging existing Volvo Trucks technology. No extra hardware is required. Every new Volvo-powered truck will have Driver Display Activation available free of charge for the first two years, bundled with Volvo Trucks’ remote diagnostics services.

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