Navistar to Offer Engine Reprogramming via Wi-Fi

August 31, 2015

International Truck announced it plans to offer “over-the-air” reprogramming of engine control modules for International trucks powered by its N9, N10 and N13 diesels. OTA signals will go via Wi-Fi connections using special hardware.

Navistar has completed initial trials in its test fleets and will finalize testing in customer fleets this fall, the announcement said. The official launch of the over-the-air, or OTA, capability in new International models will come early next year, for 2017-model trucks.

OTA reprogramming of the truck’s ECM will enable the driver or fleet manager to use a mobile interface to initiate reprogramming, said Mike Cerilli, general manager, Navistar’s Connected Vehicle Business. This quick procedure can be performed at the customer’s facility over a safe, secure Wi-Fi connection.

The company continues to partner with industry-leading data and technology companies to ensure the system offers the highest level of security, he said.

“OTA lays the groundwork for a pipeline of connected vehicle services such as partner engine and component calibration updates, body control module updates and future cellular capabilities,” said Cerilli. “These and future advancements will provide improved customer uptime, fuel efficiency and other benefits that will drive added value for customers.”

Navistar spokesperson Lyndi McMillan provided further information on OTA procedures and safeguards:

“At launch, OTA will be used for reprogramming engine calibrations,” she said. “Fleets will be given the administrative rights to establish who the users are in their company -- fleet maintenance teams, drivers or both.

“Out on the road, recalibrations will unlikely be the norm as most recalibrations are improvements to the overall vehicle performance; thus [they] will be done during a scheduled interval. In the future, OTA has the potential to enable the reprogramming or any system that utilizes software on the vehicle," McMillan continued.

“Since our system works over Wi-Fi, the truck is stationary and must be at the assigned wi-fi network before a download can occur. The hardware device must also be plugged in for the download to occur. Reprograming is not possible without the hardware device or without Wi-Fi."

Navistar will start its 2017 model year next January, which is why those models will be the first ones capable of getting the new service.

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