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Driver-activated remote programming feature now standard on new Volvo trucks

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Driver-activated remote programming feature now standard on new Volvo trucks
Following a four-month pilot program, Driver Display Activation, part of Volvo Trucks North America’s Remote Programming services, is now available for order on all new Volvo trucks. (Courtesy: Volvo Trucks)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — After a successful four-month pilot program, Volvo Trucks announced Dec. 14 that the Driver Display Activation (DDA) application has been added to Remote Programming as part of the manufacturer’s Remote Diagnostics bundle of Uptime Services. DDA allows drivers to directly activate over-the-air system updates within minutes at a time and location that’s convenient to them.

Volvo Trucks’ Remote Programming service provides fleet operators with a faster, more flexible way to make updates to software and parameters that enhance the performance of a truck’s engine, transmission and aftertreatment. DDA moves the activation step into the cab and the hands of the operator, providing another option than calling a Volvo Action Service agent to initiate a remote update. This cuts administration and updating time in half and opens the service up to 24/7 availability.

“The capabilities of the new DDA application and the benefits it represents for owners and operators are part of a change journey in our industry,” said Rodney Lloyd, global program manager and pilot leader for Volvo Trucks North America. “This pilot program further reinforced that the uptime and productivity gains from this feature will be a huge step forward for our customers.”

DDA underwent multiple pilot testing phases, from dealer stock trucks to more than 500 customer trucks at 15 different over-the-road and vocational fleets.

Lloyd said that during the latest phase of testing, he heard from one national retail chain that drivers initially expressed resistance to the new option, but quickly came to appreciate the new DDA feature after one try. The DDA service can easily be done during a typical operator break. The participating customer was able to complete approximately 400 software updates in less than four weeks, with each vehicle taking minutes to convert instead of the typical three hours.

“We knew we had something really good at the onset based on the feedback we received from dealer technicians during our initial stock truck tests,” Lloyd said. “They realized that DDA is much easier and faster than pulling out a laptop for performing updates. They saw firsthand how this feature immediately added efficiency and decreased administration time.”

Rick Randall, diagnostic services manager, Volvo Trucks North America, also noted the importance of keeping fleets updated on the latest software.

“We have clear data showing that trucks running the latest software versions throw fewer faults and experience higher efficiency and less downtime. Our goal with Remote Programming and Driver Display Activation is to make updating a breeze so more trucks can run optimally,” Randall said.

“With DDA, the customer decides who is allowed to run the update,” he continued. “Most fleets are fine with the operator activating the update when prompted by an alert on the instrument cluster, but others may want to enable the password option that comes with DDA so only their technicians can update. The configurability removes any customer concerns over authorization. They can also choose between three cluster notification options. It’s totally configurable, and the preferences can all be managed remotely simply by calling Volvo Action Service.”

The DDA interface will be available, free of charge for the first two years, bundled into the manufacturer’s Remote Diagnostics services on all new Volvo trucks built after Nov. 30, 2020.

Model-year 2018 and older trucks can be adapted to allow DDA using a conversion kit that’s available in the Volvo Premium Tech Tool diagnostic application. Operators are not required to contact a Volvo Action Service agent or visit a certified Volvo Uptime dealer to update the vehicle, but support is available 24/7 through the Volvo Trucks Uptime Center, if needed. Fleet managers and owners can contact Volvo Action Service to have multiple qualifying vehicles updated simultaneously.

The Trucker News Staff

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The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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