Cummins intros predictive cruise, OTA updates for 2017 engine lineup

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Updated Jul 28, 2016

In addition to unveiling its 2017 engine lineup, Cummins has introduced a new package of engine connectivity options that give fleets the ability to update their trucks’ engines over the air (OTA) with either an updated calibration from Cummins or specialized tunes for improving fuel economy or application changes.

The U.S.’ predominant heavy-duty diesel engine maker also announced an updated GPS-based predictive cruise control that gives its engines the ability to read road maps up to two miles out via GPS connectivity and optimize acceleration and coasting for the best possible fuel economy.

The updated connectivity package includes the Connected Calibrations system and the similar Connected Tuning, joining the already existing Connected Diagnostics unveiled in March 2015.

The two additions to Cummins’ Connected system will be available for both of Cummins’ new 15-liter engines, the X15 Efficiency Series and the X15 Performance Series. Those engines go into production in the 4th quarter of this year.

Cummins says the Connected Calibrations system allows the company to push out engine control module updates to its engines without the need for the engines to be taken into a shop. The Connected Tuning system, meanwhile, gives fleets the ability to send new engine tunes to their X15 engines to fine tune the engine’s ECM and its performance to its fleet’s application.

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Both of Cummins’ new X15 engines come factory-ready for over-the-air updates. The new connectivity options work with fleets’ existing telematics systems, too, and the system works with nearly all major telematics providers in the industry, Cummins says.

Alongside the connectivity enhancements, Cummins introduced a web portal and an updated mobile app, both of which can be used to manage the Connected systems.

When updated engine calibrations are ready to be deployed, fleets will receive an email telling them the calibration is ready to be downloaded. The download requires approval via the web portal from the fleet. Once approved, the engine will download the new calibration. Then, the driver of the truck with the engine receiving the update will receive a notification on his or her telematics device saying the download is ready to be installed on the engine’s ECM. The driver must take the final step of approving the installation once he’s stopped. After the driver’s approval, the new calibration is installed on the engine’s ECM.

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The Calibrated Tuning system works the same way.

Cummins says the process and the engine files are highly encrypted. Also, if a download is not successful, the engine will automatically revert back to the calibration in place at the time of the download, as the engine maintains an copy of the old calibration.

The new Connected options will begin rollout in the 4th quarter of this year, alongside the launch of the 2017 X15 engines.