Navistar’s Internet of Things is expanding not only the growth of its OnCommand Connection fleet telematics, but also with over-the-air (OTA) programming of Cummins engine control modules.
On the same day the Lisle, Illinois, company announced that 200,000 unique, mostly International truck VINs are now subscribed to the OnCommand Connection vehicle diagnostics hardware and software suite, it made good on a promise made last fall to allow truck customers operating Cummins engines to program them without the need to visit dealers or other service facilities.
Navistar launched OnCommand for its IC Bus school bus line last summer and was the first OEM to offer its OTA programming for its N-series engines, while Cummins has been working with partner Omnitracs for the past year to develop OTA programming. Tuesday’s news makes Navistar the first truck manufacturer to pass it along to customers, starting this fall with 2017 model-year Cummins engines.
Meanwhile, OnCommand Connection first hit the market in Oct. 2013 for International truck brands, for which it is a standard, no-charge feature. Trish Reed, IC Bus VP and GM, told School Transportation News in February that school bus customers can continue to receive a $300 rebate towards hardware and service subscriptions when purchasing a new IC Bus model through Aug. 31 of this year.
Navistar explained that OnCommand vehicle status and diagnostic trouble code data from one of its 16 telematics service provider partners, including Tyler Technologies, are transmitted to OnCommand Connection, which then interprets this data and creates easy-to-understand vehicle health reports and recommended action plans for all brands of vehicles and engines.
Customers can choose to access the data online or via emails and other types of alerts to make any vehicle repairs and maintenance more efficient. Navistar added that OnCommand promises more vehicle uptime, “better lifecycle value, and an overall lower total cost of ownership, giving (customers) increased visibility into maintenance needs and better control of their business.”
OnCommand is also available as an aftermarket option on other vehicles.
Back on the engine side, Navistar said Cummins OTA programming is available through the nine-pin International LINK device, which, Navistar added, enables drivers or fleet managers to utilize a mobile interface to initiate engine programming at the customer's facility over a secure Wi-Fi connection.
OTA programming also allows drivers and fleets the ability to easily and securely update engine control modules to the latest manufacturer-approved calibrations, without the necessity of visiting a dealer or other service facility, Navistar explained.
"This new service for users of Cummins engines builds on our commitment to open-architecture solutions that provide drivers and fleets with improved uptime," said Terry Kline, senior vice president and chief information officer for Navistar. "Many of our customers have mixed fleets, and thanks to this industry-leading innovation, customers will be able to program Cummins' engines without having to leave their own facilities. This open-architecture approach will provide drivers and fleets with an added measure of ease, convenience, efficiency and productivity."
Navistar and Cummins said they plan expand the service to additional model years, and a Navistar spokeswoman said IC Bus is expected to be a part of this.