Software of any kind tends to be an ever-evolving entity in the age of always-on connections. Before the Internet connected the world’s electronics, your computer’s operating system was installed, and once installed, it remained static until a newer version was installed. These days, operating systems of all kinds can receive routine updates through the Internet, many times without the user needing to do anything at all except accept the update.
This is true for trucking software as well, and Mack has recently announced that it will be implementing manual over-the-air (OTA) updates on all of its Anthem, Pinnacle and Granite trucks through the company’s Mack GuardDog Connect software. The ability to manually update the software using OTA driver activated updates is a great step forward because it means that drivers and fleet managers can have a greater degree of control over when updates get made.
Part of the problem with over-the-air updates is that they often get pushed out automatically, meaning the software developer determines when the update gets implemented. This may sound convenient, but when you’re cruising down the highway on a run and your truck’s on-board software decides to go into update mode, the results can lead to making a pitstop that delays delivery of a load.
Mack’s approach will give drivers and fleet managers the option to download and install over-the-air updates at a time that’s convenient. This not only helps to promote driver safety and ensure efficient truck performance, but it can also reduce the potential for software corruption that can occur through update interruptions. If a driver is in a bad area for connectivity or will not be available to finish an update, stopping in the middle of the process may lead to problems with the software and its effect on the truck’s hardware.
The ability to manually choose when to update can give the driver advance notice to execute the operation when he or she knows that there’s a good connection and enough time available to finish updating to avoid problems. Thankfully, Mack also provides access to Mack OneCall to assist drivers through a live representative if problems come up or assistance is needed in scheduling and installing OTA updates. Trucking professionals can also access driver activated updates remotely through Mack GuardDog Connect 24 hours a day.