Fleet Maintenance - 35

OTA programming
allows fleets to
remotely update
the software
version on their
trucks' ECUs.
spend this amount of money if it were not justified,
signifying the importance of applying updates to
major components when possible. For example,
examining the scope of updates from one manufacturer, patches addressed the following:
Ü	Reduce occurrences of ABS light
Ü	Reduce broken fan belt tensioners due to rapid
clutch engagement
Ü	Correct cruise control oscillation
Ü	Correct intermittent no-start due to overclosed VGT
Each of these issues impacts a vital aspect of
a truck's ability to safely and functionally travel
from point A to point B. Without the updates,
drivers must deal with oscillating cruise control
problems or the truck not starting. False occurrences of an ABS light can cause unnecessary
downtime due to a shop visit. Broken fan belt
tensioners are a costly repair issue that also lead
to unplanned downtime.

Consideration - OTA
or in the shop?

OTA programming allows fleets to remotely
update the software version on their trucks' electronic control units (ECUs). This is a task that, in
the past, required a shop visit which could leave
drivers waiting for a day or more before a bay
would become available. That's a long wait for a
task as straightforward as connecting the truck
to a software application and choosing to perform
an update.

Benefits of updating

Noregon's work with some of the largest fleets and
service centers allows us to analyze vehicle data
and identify trends. Examining vehicle data for
a specific make and model of engine, we determined that, on average, those engines were 400
days behind on software updates. This manufacturer releases an update every one to two months,
meaning the average truck was, at a minimum,
about six updates behind.
In some instances, the development and release
of an update or patch can cost an OE upwards of
$1 million. Component manufacturers would not

Now that we've discussed the importance of keeping component software up to date, what should
a fleet consider when comparing in-shop versus
OTA updates?
When implementing OTA programming,
fleets should notice a significant improvement
in uptime. If the vehicle is already in the shop for
routine maintenance and the technician advises downloading an update - and doing so won't
accrue additional time in the bay - by all means,
go ahead and have the update installed. However,
the odds of the truck already being in the shop
shortly after a patch is made available is slim, so
the convenience and reduction of downtime make
OTA programming a logical option.
Noregon has customers who claim about a halfday of uptime saved per OTA update as opposed to
the same update in-shop. OTA updates, however,
do not come without risks and considerations such
as security and cost.
A secure, encrypted end-to-end communication
protocol used with technologies such as VPNs is
essential to OTA programming being a vital solution. Two-factor authentication that allows fleet
personnel to approve any update sent to the truck

is another consideration to ensure messages sent
to the vehicle are authorized.
Consider the following example of a man-inthe-middle attack to highlight the dangers of
unauthorized communication with a fleet vehicle. Imagine a truck receives an illegitimate software update that drops the maximum allowed
road and cruise speed to five miles per hour. This
type of attack could serve as a form of ransomware where the hacker contacts the fleet and
requires financial compensation to remove the
limitation, or else the truck can only creep along
the highway.
Consider another example - what if a driver
is unaware of adaptive cruise control becoming
disabled by a malicious attacker? This could lead
to a collision causing damage to the truck and
injury to the driver and to others on the road.
Due to the consequences, it is imperative to keep
security top-of-mind.
One of the most significant fleet costs associated with OTA programming is the bandwidth
required to send and download an update. Check
if the system has a calibration age parameter; this
prevents unnecessary calibrations that waste
bandwidth and only apply the update if it exceeds
a certain number of days.
Some remote diagnostic applications display
detailed information about onboard components, down to the serial number and the current
software version. Best practices suggest always
checking the existing software versioning as not
to waste bandwidth on an ECU that is already

The future of OTA programming
in the industry
OTA updates hold an essential spot in the future
of trucking; the benefits are far too great to expect
otherwise. Fleets will benefit from the improvements in uptime, while technicians use their skills
to make repairs on trucks that require a visit to
the service center.
Fleets must be mindful of the associated costs
and risks to experience an improvement in profits from OTA programming. Cybersecurity in all
trucking systems is a significant concern moving
forward, as is the use of bandwidth on performing
tasks such as over-the-air updates.
Exciting times await as the internet of things
(IoT) spreads rapidly through the trucking industry. We'll never eliminate the need for skilled
technicians in service centers. However, we can
significantly reduce downtime for vehicles by
instead correcting issues with the click of a button
over the air.
Ben Osborne is Noregon's marketing communications manager. Since
joining the company at the beginning
of 2016, Osborne has worked closely
with Noregon's vehicle data experts to
promote initiatives that help drive forward the commercial trucking industry.

May 2020 | VehicleServicePros.com



Fleet Maintenance

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fleet Maintenance

Uptime: Expecting the unexpected
Editor's Note: Catching up on fleet maintenance
Maintenance considerations for manual versus automated manual transmissions
DPFs: Clean or replace?
Why Identify and track vehicle warranties?
Lube it or lose it
OTA: Supporting uptime remotely
Management: How fleets can benefit from having a SAMP
Training: Supporting today's students and tomorrow's techs
Diagnostics: Assessing aftermarket diagnostic solutions
Fleet Part & Components
Tools & Equipment
Guest Editorial: Keeping tire pressure at optimum levels
Fleet Maintenance - 1
Fleet Maintenance - 2
Fleet Maintenance - 3
Fleet Maintenance - 4
Fleet Maintenance - 5
Fleet Maintenance - 6
Fleet Maintenance - 7
Fleet Maintenance - Uptime: Expecting the unexpected
Fleet Maintenance - 9
Fleet Maintenance - Editor's Note: Catching up on fleet maintenance
Fleet Maintenance - 11
Fleet Maintenance - Maintenance considerations for manual versus automated manual transmissions
Fleet Maintenance - 13
Fleet Maintenance - 14
Fleet Maintenance - 15
Fleet Maintenance - 16
Fleet Maintenance - 17
Fleet Maintenance - DPFs: Clean or replace?
Fleet Maintenance - 19
Fleet Maintenance - 20
Fleet Maintenance - 21
Fleet Maintenance - 22
Fleet Maintenance - 23
Fleet Maintenance - Why Identify and track vehicle warranties?
Fleet Maintenance - 25
Fleet Maintenance - 26
Fleet Maintenance - 27
Fleet Maintenance - 28
Fleet Maintenance - 29
Fleet Maintenance - Lube it or lose it
Fleet Maintenance - 31
Fleet Maintenance - 32
Fleet Maintenance - 33
Fleet Maintenance - OTA: Supporting uptime remotely
Fleet Maintenance - 35
Fleet Maintenance - Management: How fleets can benefit from having a SAMP
Fleet Maintenance - Training: Supporting today's students and tomorrow's techs
Fleet Maintenance - Diagnostics: Assessing aftermarket diagnostic solutions
Fleet Maintenance - 39
Fleet Maintenance - Fleet Part & Components
Fleet Maintenance - Tools & Equipment
Fleet Maintenance - Guest Editorial: Keeping tire pressure at optimum levels
Fleet Maintenance - 43
Fleet Maintenance - 44