GREENSBORO, N.C. — Volvo Trucks North America has developed and will market a fully integrated vehicle communications system in Volvo Link.
The company calls it an affordable two-way satellite communications system, combining satellite technology, a proprietary design high-performance modem that also uses the power of the Internet to locate trucks and provide affordable communications between terminals and drivers virtually anywhere.
“Volvo Link is a significant technological advancement because it offers a competitive advantage to Volvo owners by providing two-way communications as affordable as cellular technology, but with the coverage of satellite technology,” says Susan Alt, vice-president of marketing for Volvo Trucks North America. “With Volvo Link, Volvo owner/operators, small and mid-size fleets now have affordable access to the communications technology they need to be competitive and capture more business.”
In the cab, Volvo Link requires no keyboard to send messages from the vehicle to the terminal. The windshield wiper control arm on the steering column is used to scroll through a list of standardized pre-formatted messages and can also be used to create customized messages.
The Driver Message Center (already incorporated into the dash of every 2000 model year and newer Volvo truck) provides the display for incoming and outgoing text without altering the aesthetics of the driver cockpit.
On the vehicle, the GPS antenna is hidden and the high-performance modem is placed inside the dashboard making enhanced fleet security and theft recovery peripheral benefits of Volvo Link.
At the terminal, dispatchers use the Internet to send/receive messages and to retrieve critical vehicle information and operating parameters transmitted through the proprietary Volvo Link modem. Truck location, vehicle diagnostics and reports concerning mileage, fuel economy, engine running and idle time can be generated with a simple command.
Volvo Link can be factory-installed or retrofitted to any late-model Volvo VN or VHD (2000 model year and newer). Approximately three hours of labor is required to retrofit with monthly operating costs varying depending on individual usage. The monthly service fee is fixed at US$14.95 plus per use fees typically ranging from 20 to 50 cents.
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