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Volvo Trucks Enhances Remote Diagnostics with AI

October 24, 2018

Volvo Trucks North America is further strengthening its portfolio of uptime-boosting services by enhancing Remote Diagnostics with an advanced analytics platform from 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.

"Working with SAS has helped us further refine our uptime-enhancing Remote Diagnostics through greater processing power to the data behind diagnostic codes,” said Ash Makki, Volvo Trucks North America product marketing manager. “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. 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, etc. 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.

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. 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.

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