Guest Column | July 18, 2022

Why Should Fleet Managers Calibrate Their Engines?

By Emily Newton, Revolutionized


Engine calibration involves tweaking a vehicle’s internal computers to cause certain desirable outcomes. One of the primary benefits today is that there are a growing number of options to pursue. Some engine calibration technology allows for the simulation of different changes before making them in real life.

Here are some of the benefits of engine calibration.

Engine Calibration Can Lower Carbon Footprint And Gas Usage

Better fuel economy and a smaller carbon footprint are understandably among the priorities of many modern fleet managers. They’re top benefits of engine calibration, provided people take the time to find the most suitable options.

One product on the market reportedly causes an average 6%-10% improvement in fuel economy, with some users noticing gains of up to 15%. Reductions in a vehicle’s carbon footprint are approximately 2.9 cubic tons of carbon dioxide annually per car.

One windshield repair company that uses the engine calibration technology on 6,500 of its fleet vehicles saved nearly 11 gallons of fuel per month and cut the per-truck emissions by 1.27 tons annually. Since the business has such a large fleet, that’s the equivalent of removing the total emissions of 562 vans.

Decision-makers frequently examine what they can do to save gas and cut emissions. Using engine calibration solutions may not give them all the gains they want at once. However, many people who use them see impressive outcomes.

You Can Get Engine Calibration Updates Without Going Into A Shop

Field and lab calibration are the two main options when people need to tune specialty equipment. Field service is often quicker because technicians come to a client’s site. The alternative is sending whatever needs calibrating to a dedicated place for off-site servicing. However, providers of engine calibration technology have an even more efficient option. One of the benefits of engine calibration is that its software often works with over-the-air updates.

The specific process varies depending on which company a fleet manager goes with. However, a vehicle operator will generally see a software update prompt in a prominent area such as a dashboard screen. They can then get more details about parameters to meet before the software can be installed. For example, the engine might need to be turned off, with the vehicle’s battery having a good charge and the person in an area with good cellular reception.

Sometimes, the fleet manager receives a message about an available software update for the engine calibration technology and must choose the desired time to have it installed on a given vehicle. In such cases, the updates won’t proceed unless the car also meets the previously described requirements. Getting the latest software versions and the associated calibrations may take just five minutes, making it easy for a driver to keep the truck current.

Sales representatives for the companies that offer vehicle calibration solutions also can trigger over-the-air updates when a customer with decision making authority contacts them to ask for a particular product. That process is convenient when people realize certain calibrations would get them closer to their goals.

Engine Calibration Can Support Safer Driving

Many fleet managers use vehicle telematics software to support larger aims. Some products enable launching predictive maintenance programs. They often work with artificial intelligence algorithms to detect potential problems and suggest performing upkeep before issues develop. This can keep people safer by preventing vehicle-related abnormalities that could result in injuries or fatalities.

Enhanced safety is among the benefits of engine calibration, too. Many products on the market have speed limiters that restrict how fast someone can operate the vehicle. Options also can boost a vehicle’s power, making it more efficient in mountainous areas or similarly challenging terrains. When a professional driver’s truck or van is well-equipped for the job, they’ll be more confident on the road and not so distracted by performance issues.

Adopting technology that calibrates the engine for better safety can positively affect insurance rates paid by a fleet manager. The company also bolsters its overall safety reputation if those solutions reduce accidents.

However, safety improvements generally must be all-encompassing efforts. Tweaking a vehicle is only one practical step to take. Other options include mounting dashboard cameras in trucks and having ongoing coaching sessions with drivers to talk about recorded instances of unsafe driving.

Engine Calibration Technology May Soon Get Even More Efficient

Fleet managers that recognize the benefits of engine calibration often realize the payoffs are well worth the relatively short time it takes to implement. Even so, researchers continually look for ways to further boost efficiency.

In one recent case, an engineering team at Porsche created and trained algorithms to work with deep reinforcement learning. They found that the approach optimized the various parameters necessary for successful engine calibration. Plus, it did so faster than previous methods allowed. The people involved also discovered that they could apply their algorithms to meet numerous needs, making it a versatile innovation.

Part of the process compares an engine’s current state and statistics to a target value. Algorithms then work out the best ways to make the necessary changes. They also continually check their results and make readjustments when required. Researchers indicated that algorithms could account for specifics, such as the overall wear of an engine component during its lifetime while making their tweaks.

This is only one example of how engine calibration technology has progressed. Developments like these will make the prospect of using it even more appealing. It could inspire people to think about how it could help them engage in more impactful fleet management.

Some schools also have expanded their curriculums to ensure newly trained mechanics know how to calibrate engines for their clients. That makes them well-equipped to market themselves and explain the benefits of engine calibration to customers who may not be familiar with them yet.

How Will You Enjoy The Benefits Of Engine Calibration?

People should not try to calibrate their engines without firsthand knowledge of how to do it. However, letting professionals do the job shows many of the advantages mentioned here. Even more associated benefits will become apparent as engine calibration technology continues to improve.

About The Author

Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized. She regularly explores the impact technology has on the industrial sector.