In addition to fuel economy, uptime was addressed by every OEM at the show. Mack and Volvo execs spoke of a new Uptime Center being built in Greensboro, N.C., which will bring together under one roof all the employees who have a role to play in reducing downtime.
The biggest way OEMs are looking to improve uptime is through remote diagnostics – the ability to remotely monitor fault codes and advise operators on the best course of action. Cummins became the latest engine manufacturer to announce a remote diagnostics program: Cummins Connected Diagnostics. The priority for Cummins was to deploy a system that required no new hardware and will be integrated into the telematics platforms fleets are already using today. The Cummins platform will enter limited production later this year, and full production in 2015.
When it comes to remote diagnostics, the various systems being offered all have their own strengths. Detroit’s Virtual Technician is the only one to create a log file capturing data from immediately before and after a fault code is triggered; Volvo’s Remote Diagnostics has excellent integration with the dealer network; Mack’s GuardDog Connect features dealership geofencing, so the company can intervene with a dealer when it notices the truck’s been in the shop for too long; Navistar’s OnCommand Connection features a highly customizable open architecture platform.
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