Over-the-air, or OTA technology, may be the next big leap in fine-tuning trucks, whether they are parked or on the road, without having to take the vehicle into a specialist. OTA technology is being developed by big players in the trucking industry, such as Ford, Volvo, GM, and others. In fact, OTA technology is one form of automation that even drivers are supporting, because it lowers costs across the board, while still requiring the human element.
The Truck Is More Than Just A Vehicle
We have reach a point in the trucking industry where we can safely say that the truck is not “just a big vehicle.” The cab has become more like a cockpit, full of electronic devices providing information to drivers about everything from weather to traffic. Add to this sensors and ELDs, which monitor everything from speed to wear and tear on the vehicle, as well as the driver’s performance, truckers have to keep track of a lot more than just the road and their delivery schedule.
What Is OTA Technology?
The various devices and sensors in a truck can be viewed as apps on a smartphone. When your apps need updating, your phone downloads the latest version without requiring the user to know anything about programming. OTA technology is very similar. Instead of taking your truck into a specialist, or having to update the various technology in your truck on your own, OTA technology does it for you, automatically. Over-the-air technology acts as a built in hub that, quite literally, updates your truck while it is parked. This takes the burden off of the driver, and reduces the cost of taking trucks into specialists to get various pieces of technology updated.
One of the biggest drives to develop over-the-air technology is safety. Given that the technology “oversees” all of the monitoring system in a truck, it can also notice and prevent major recalls. Statistically speaking, when a major recall occurs, only 70 percent of the vehicles are completely fixed. OTA tech can identify specific problems with individual vehicles, notifying both drivers and manufacturers, so problems do not go unchecked.
The Technology Is Not Far Off
As mentioned above, companies like Volvo have been working on OTA technology for a while now. The first big rollout is planned for 2020. Interestingly, none of the major manufacturers have made mention if over-the-air technology is being tested in conjunction with self-driving vehicles.