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Volvo Trucks’ collaboration with SAS enhances remote diagnostics

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Volvo Trucks North America says it is further strengthening its portfolio of uptime-boosting services by enhancing Remote Diagnostics with an advanced analytics platform from global analytics leader SAS.

SAS’ best-in-class analytics support Volvo’s artificial intelligence efforts and provide even greater capabilities for Remote Diagnostics users, allowing for more precise analysis and decision-making, according to Ash Makki, Volvo Trucks North America product marketing manager.

“Working with SAS has helped us further refine our uptime-enhancing Remote Diagnostics through greater processing power to the data behind diagnostic codes,” Makki said. “We’ve been able to expand the parts and trouble codes we monitor and recognize situational patterns that help us improve accuracy and obtain better insight into root causes. These enhancements ultimately mean Volvo Action Service (VAS) agents receive more precise data that allows them to better analyze trouble codes and provide actionable information to decision-makers and repair facilities, helping maximize vehicle uptime.”

“Machine learning and artificial intelligence are areas we’re putting a lot of emphasis on right now, utilizing the SAS platform,” said Conal Deedy, director of connected vehicle services for Volvo Trucks North America. “We’re uncovering hidden insights in our data and merging that with the truck knowledge from our engineering group. Together we are in a much better situation to understand exactly what the data is telling us and integrating it into the Remote Diagnostics service. We are already seeing the benefits and the future is extremely exciting. With the SAS platform in place, Volvo can  process millions of records  in real-time,  expanding Volvo’s Remote Diagnostics capabilities, which on average helps reduce diagnostic time by 70 percent and repair time 25 percent.”

Jason Mann, SAS vice president of IoT, said Volvo Trucks and SAS have worked together to create a robust, flexible analytics system.

“Trucking is a key part of the global logistics system that makes our economies work. Improving performance and lowering costs helps everyone across the value chain,” he said. “Using a variety of analytical techniques from SAS to extract value from IoT data flowing from each vehicle, Volvo Trucks delivers for its customers — literally and figuratively.”

Since 2013 all Volvo trucks with Volvo engines have come standard with factory-installed telematics hardware that provides connectivity for Remote Diagnostics, Volvo’s proactive diagnostics and monitoring of critical engine, transmission and aftertreatment trouble codes. Upon detecting a code, sensors on the truck collect streaming data in real-time to provide context. Data points and operating conditions, like truck location, altitude, ambient air temperature, truck gear, RPM level and torque load help give the information needed for more precise diagnosis.

The same standard connectivity hardware powering Remote Diagnostics also allows customers to perform powertrain software and parameter updates over-the-air with Remote Programming, which helps improve uptime and vehicle efficiency without taking the truck out of service. Remote programming of software and parameter updates provides a significant time savings when compared with the 2.3 day industry average when a truck arrives at a bay, is plugged in, and manually receives updates.

Deedy said support for Volvo trucks is provided 24/7 by highly trained VAS agents, who monitor critical vehicle codes.

”If an issue is detected, VAS agents will assess the severity and provide the vehicle’s designated contact with actionable information to determine whether to keep operating the truck or take it for immediate service,” he said. “All details from the service process are captured and tracked through ASIST, Volvo’s online service management and communication platform. This gives the driver, customer contact and dealer real-time visibility to case status, repair scheduling, and parts and service bay availability. Remote Programming updates are also facilitated by VAS agents.”

For more information, visit www.volvotrucks.com.

 

 

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Cummins X12 Wins truck writers’ Technical Achievement Award

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Krista Toenjes, Cummins’ North American manager of on-highway sales and marketing, accepts this year’s Technical Achievement Award from Jim Park, chairman of the truck writers committee which determines the annual honor. (Courtesy: ATATMC)

ATLANTA — Cummins’ lightweight but powerful X12 diesel has won the annual Jim Winsor Memorial Technical Achievement Award.

The honor was presented recently by a group of trucking news writers during the American Trucking Associations Technology & Maintenance Council meeting.

“As in previous years, there were a number of very worthy candidates nominated by members of our awards committee, and debate was lively,” said Jim Park, chairman of the Award Committee who writes for Heavy Duty Trucking and Today’s Trucking magazines. “But in our voting, the X12 emerged as the top product from a final field of four.”

The runners up were the Peterson Pulse electronic system for trailers, Stemco’s automatically deploying Trailer Tail and the Stemco-Webb Trifecta wheel hub.

Weight is always an issue in spec’ing and operating trucks, especially with bulk haulers and in vocational applications, and the X12’s comparatively low weight, along with millions of miles of previous service in Asia and South America, make it a standout among diesel offerings, members of the awards committee agreed.

The 11.8-liter X12’s dry weight is 2,050 pounds, 150 to 400 pounds less than 11- to 13-liter competitors, yet it makes up to 500 horsepower and 1,700 pound-feet of torque, according to Cummins. Innovative engineering trims pounds from the cylinder block but maintains high strength for long life, while advanced combustion design and effective air and fuel handling and promises high efficiency.

The X12 went into North American production and became available to customers in 2018, which made it eligible for the latest Technical Achievement Award, Park said. The engine is now an option from Autocar, Freightliner and Western Star.

Cummins, the industry’s sole independent engine manufacturer, won the award twice before, in 2017 for its X15 Efficiency Series diesel, and in 1998 for its Signature 600 diesel. In 2007, Cummins Filtration earned the award for its Fleetguard User Friendly filters.

The Truck Writers of North America, predecessor to today’s Award Committee, gave the first Technical Achievement Award went to Grote Industries for its red LED marker lamp, a technology that has become standard on trucks and trailers and across the automotive world.

Two years ago, the committee named the award after the late Jim Winsor, a 50-year veteran of the trucking trade press. He served as editor-in-chief at Commercial Carrier Journal and executive editor at Heavy Duty Trucking, and was active in the Technology & Maintenance Council and its forerunner, The Maintenance Committee.

Aside from Park, members of the awards committee included John Baxter, a freelance technical writer; Tom Berg, with Construction Equipment and Land Line magazines; Jason Cannon, Commercial Carrier Journal; Seth Clevenger, Transport Topics; James Menzies, Truck News & Truck West; Jason Morgan, Fleet Equipment; Jack Roberts, Heavy Duty Trucking; John G. Smith, Today’s Trucking; Suzanne Stempinski, Land Line; and Steve Sturgess, freelance writer.  8

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TuSimple develops camera, vision system for customer fleet

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SAN DIEGO — TuSimple, a self-driving truck company, said it has developed a proprietary automotive-grade camera and vision system that will go into volume production in in the second quarter of 2019 that will be deployed on TuSimple’s autonomous customer fleet by the third quarter of 2019.

As TuSimple’s entry into hardware design, the system offers enhanced reliability of autonomous operation and is a necessary step in the company’s quest to commercialize the first driverless truck.

Featuring Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corp.’s automotive complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor, the custom designed camera system allows for reliable night and low light autonomous operation. Adding nighttime operation to TuSimple’s already industry leading 1,000-meter perception system will allow fleets to increase truck utilization from an average of 50 percent, or 12 hours per day, to an average of over 80 percent.

TuSimple plans to increase its U.S. fleet to 50 trucks by June, with more to follow. The camera system designed for the company’s fully-autonomous Level 4 trucks is an important component of TuSimple’s ability to scale, especially as the company moves beyond its validation phase.

“Bringing reliable nighttime and low light operation to current perception systems in the market is an important step in the viability of autonomous driving, which is a strategic focus for us,” said Tsutomu Haruta, automotive business division deputy senior general manager, Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corp. “We’re pleased that TuSimple, the leading self-driving truck company appreciates the cutting-edge technology that Sony is known for.”

TuSimple has leveraged Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corp.’s automotive CMOS image sensor to create a set of camera systems for short, medium and long range that use TuSimple’s software to detect and process sharp images in real-time as far as 1,000 meters away. The system addresses complex imaging challenges such as instant light changes when entering and exiting tunnels, flaring during sunrise and sunset, and headlight glare. It also handles the LED flicker created by digital signage and traffic lights.

“Like human drivers, autonomous trucks’ perception systems are challenged by a wide variety of light conditions which are experienced every day while driving. We weren’t able to find a camera system on the market that fit our needs, so we created one,” said Dr. Xiaodi Hou, Founder, President and Chief Technology Officer, TuSimple. “The combined expertise of Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation and TuSimple has created a perception system that sees better than the human eye – night and day, rain or shine — in the most challenging driving conditions.”

This new camera system is designed to Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL)-C, which is important for the validation of safety-related electronic systems that must be highly reliable in specific driving conditions as outlined in the ISO 26262 Functional Safety standard. As the system integrator, Sunny Optics will test the product and module, as well as develop and manufacture the automotive-grade product.

Dr. Hou will discuss the new camera system as part of his upcoming presentation at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, March 19, at 3 pm. NVIDIA is an investor (through NVIDIA GPU Ventures) in TuSimple and NVIDIA DRIVE technology is a critical part of TuSimple’s self-driving trucks, which will be on display at the conference exhibition.

TuSimple’s trucks have a vision range of 1,000 meters—farther and better quality visibility than any other autonomous perception system today. TuSimple’s self-driving trucks utilize cameras, lidar and radar to see 360 degrees around for a pixel-level interpretation of the visible environment. TuSimple vehicles have three centimeters of control precision at all times—rain or shine.

With $95 million in new funding and daily autonomous trips hauling freight, the company is on its way to achieving its milestone of first driverless operations by the end of 2020 and delivering on its goal to create a safer, cleaner and more efficient trucking industry.

TuSimple officials said the company is working to transform the $800-billion U.S. trucking industry. According to McKinsey, full autonomy could reduce operating costs by about 45 percent, saving the trucking industry between $85 billion and $125 billion.

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Bendix launches retrofit upgrade program for advanced driver assistance technologies

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Systems currently available in the robust Bendix Retrofit Upgrade Program include the Bendix Wingman Fusion driver assistance system. Wingman Fusion combines and cross-checks information from sensors that are working together – not just in parallel – along with powerful computing. The combined technologies – radar, camera, and brakes – create a highly detailed and accurate data picture, delivering multiple benefits, including braking on stationary vehicles. Note: There is no image projected onto the vehicle windshield. This image is a simulated display for demonstration purposes only. (Courtesy: BENDIX COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SYSTEMS)

ELYRIA, Ohio — Driver-tested and fleet-proven, Bendix’s leading-edge commercial vehicle safety technologies are for the first time available through a retrofit upgrade program.

At present, Bendix offers retrofits of six safety technologies. In some cases, retrofitting requires the vehicle to come factory equipped with Bendix® ESP® full-stability technology:

  • Bendix Wingman Fusion
  • Bendix Wingman Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology
  • AutoVue 4G Lane Departure Warning (LDW) System by Bendix CVS
  • Bendix BlindSpotter Side Object Detection System
  • Bendix VORAD (Vehicle On-Board Radar) VS-500
  • SafetyDirect by Bendix CVS

A slate of additional technologies, including the Bendix Intellipark Electronic Parking Brake, will continue to expand the scope of the program throughout 2019.

A unique, first-of-its-kind program that enables professional installation of Bendix advanced safety technologies to upgrade vehicles that did not come factory-equipped, the Bendix Retrofit Upgrade Program features two key elements: a comprehensive website that enables vehicle operators to determine retrofit opportunities per vehicle, and an escalating network of Bendix Authorized Retrofit Dealers and Distributors (ARDs) to facilitate the professional installation.

“Keeping a fleet equipped with the latest safety technology can be a never-ending challenge,” said TJ Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions – controls. “It’s just not practical to scrap all your trucks and replace them overnight. The Bendix Retrofit Upgrade Program makes it possible to bring vehicles not originally built with selected safety systems up to speed with the latest increasingly essential systems. It helps enhance a fleet’s safety, while also contributing to an improved driver experience vehicle to vehicle.”

With a phased-in introduction that began in 2017, the program has already been eagerly adopted by a growing list of major fleets across North America, with upgrade installations taking place daily.

Offering 24/7/365 access with information and more, Bendix will launch a website in mid-May to serve as the hub of the Retrofit Upgrade Program: www.bendixcvsupgrade.com. The site allows fleets and vehicle operators to identify which retrofit upgrade options are available for specific vehicle make, model, and year configurations. It allows Bendix to connect registered customers with a network of Authorized Retrofit Dealers and Distributors that can assist fleets in securing Bendix retrofit installation and support.

According to Thomas, “The website is the essential first step in the equation. When it comes to the complexity of safety system retrofit upgrades, there’s no margin for maybe. That’s why the ability to retrofit any Bendix safety system depends on each vehicle’s specifications; given the build variability for each OE, and the vast array of aftermarket products that can be added, additional vehicle information is required to confirm retrofit compatibility on a specific vehicle.”

“Retrofitting safety systems is very technical work and care must be taken – with the help of a knowledgeable supplier – to do it properly,” Thomas said. “It’s critical that the configuration of the vehicle and the equipment already on it will integrate with the new capabilities to be added. That could mean some vehicles may be retrofit-capable, and some vehicles may not. In all cases, specialized retrofit expertise for evaluation and installation is crucial.”

Bendix has established a demanding training program specifically designed to certify technicians who already meet the company’s rigorous criteria. The training involves classroom and hands-on learning – as well as mandatory ongoing continuing education instruction – to prepare technicians for the unique technical challenges associated with these systems. Only these Bendix Certified Installers – trained and assessed by Bendix – have access to all the tools and information necessary for retrofitting Bendix technologies, and only Bendix Authorized Retrofit Dealers and Distributors have access to the Certified Installers.

With retrofits expected to be handled in hours – not days or weeks – the proper certification of installers is key to getting trucks on the road quickly with minimal disruption to fleet operations.

Like the Certified Installers, the ever-growing network of specially authorized outlets – the ARDs – have been vetted and trained to help vehicle operators understand system availability, what vehicles are compatible, scheduling, and more.

“This program is a massive step forward in terms of driver, vehicle, and highway safety, and we are already partnering with a number of major fleets across a range of vocations on retrofitting these technologies,” Thomas said. “That work helped pave the way for the full launch of the program. Additionally, with full stability a requirement on new Class 7 and 8 trucks, more vehicles will have the foundational components in place to add these advanced safety systems in the future – and that carries the potential for greater highway safety for everyone.”

The Bendix Retrofit Upgrade Program also provides the building blocks for more complex, integrated safety products yet to come.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm and excitement about this program from fleets and vehicle owners alike,” said Thomas. “It offers a whole new opportunity for our customers to bolster their operations, support their driver retention programs, and enhance their bottom line. We’re proud of this effort as one more way that we’re working hand-in-hand with teams across the industry to shape tomorrow’s transportation together.”

Thomas said Bendix safety technologies – including all those within the Bendix Retrofit Upgrade Program – complement safe driving practices and are not intended to enable or encourage aggressive driving. No commercial vehicle safety technology replaces a skilled, alert driver exercising safe driving techniques and proactive, comprehensive driver training. Responsibility for the safe operation of the vehicle remains with the driver at all times.

 

 

 

 

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