GREENSBORO, N.C. — Mack Trucks announced this week that its driver-activated Mack over-the-air (OTA) updates feature is now standard on the Mack Anthem, Pinnacle and Granite models, enabling customers to implement software updates themselves at a time when it’s most convenient for them.
The driver download activation feature is factory-equipped on models built beginning Nov. 30, 2020, at Mack’s Lehigh Valley Operations, in Macungie, Pennsylvania, where all Mack Class 8 models for North America and export are assembled. Software retrofits for 2019 model year and later Anthem, Pinnacle and Granite models also are available.
“Mack continually looks for new ways to develop solutions that help improve our customers’ total cost of ownership,” said David Pardue, vice president of connected vehicle and contract services for Mack Trucks. “Driver-activated Mack over-the-air updates, the next evolution in remote programming, allows flexibility, along with the ability for customers to initiate software updates and the setting of vehicle parameters when it’s most suitable to their schedules.”
The service is free for the first two years of ownership and can be extended by subscription after that time period.
The driver display activation feature enhances the capability of Mack OTA, which was initially launched in 2017. OTA allows customers to implement software updates and vehicle parameter settings remotely through Mack GuardDog Connect, Mack’s fully integrated telematics platform. Driver-activated updates eliminate the need for coordination phone calls with Mack OneCall agents, and updates can be completed in less than 13 minutes, reducing the amount of time customers previously needed for updates. Mack OneCall agents remain available 24/7 to assist whenever needed for scheduling and activating updates.
“With this driver-activated feature, fleets can conduct onboard updates via the truck’s instrument cluster, offering customers greater flexibility and efficiency,” Pardue said. “Each customer identifies who is able to activate the update, whether it’s the driver who receives notification that an update is available through the instrument cluster, or a designated technician who activates the update via a unique password.”
Multiple vehicles can simultaneously receive the updates.
Mack conducted thousands of internal tests before launching a four-month, two-phase pilot program with 15 fleets. During that time, more than 500 driver-activated updates were successfully conducted on each truck, resulting in zero issues.
The driver-activated feature can be retrofitted on Mack Model Year 2019 and newer vehicles through Mack Premium Tech Tool, a Windows-based application designed to test, calibrate and program engine parameters.
Through OTA, Mack customers can also set a list of vehicle parameters such as maximum road speed, multiple idle shutdown parameters and kits, as well as parameters that control the Mack mDRIVE automated manual transmission. The system also enables Mack-initiated software updates used to continuously enhance product performance to be downloaded and installed at the customer’s convenience. OTA parameter changes also are available for previously purchased vehicles with Mack EPA 2017 engines.