Every system – from your phone, to your PC, to your smart TV and so on – will require software updates at some point or another. How do you know when that time has come? While some services and products will let you know by notification that an update is available, users have notoriously put them off until the system forces the restart (like many Windows users that have seen their PC restart suddenly on them). If you put off the notification, or if there is no notification to refer to, then you must decide on your own whether an update is necessary. Typically, your fuel software will demonstrate its need in one (or more) of the following four ways:
1) New GPS Functionality (Passive GPS) Needed
If your system is currently not using a Passive GPS system for a complete supervision of your fleet vehicles, then this might be an indication that it’s time to upgrade. Depending on your system, you may be able to upgrade to Passive GPS without updating the rest of the system. In most cases, however, it is required, or very prudent, to update your system in one go. This will help ensure software stability for any new modules or add-ons, like Passive GPS.
Another benefit of Passive GPS in the FuelFocus fuel management system is that it stores the vehicle usage data, including: each trip start and end times, initial and final odometer reading, idling, driver behavior (maximum/excessive speed, excessive acceleration/braking/swerving), location, GPS events, GPS tracking, fault codes, engine measurements and up to two external inputs (Digital/Analog) – all in one module.
2) Updating Firmware Wirelessly
Newer versions of software and hardware will often come with several new benefits and features. With these newer versions, you can update the firmware wirelessly in your systems. This allows for faster, more efficient updates in the future so your system is exactly where you need it to be for your fleet. With wireless technology, you won’t have to run extra cables out to your lots and worry about hooking it up properly to your system – it’s all done wirelessly!
3) Products Reaching End of Life
Older technology will also be phased out over time. In most cases, providers will do this to shift users to their newer software. Older software is prone to bugs, errors and security issues. As time goes on, instead of applying bandages, or “patching,” the old software, developers will move forward with new technology. This will be based on the latest developments in security, interface improvements, processing speeds and more. As your provider notifies you that a product is reaching its End of Life, it’s time to start upgrading!
Have you ever tried to fix up an old car for fun or nostalgia and realized that the extra parts are hard to find? In many cases, because of the scarcity of these parts, their prices jump drastically. While your project car can wait while you save money or find the best deals, your fleet’s fuel management software really can’t wait. If the replacement parts are scarce and expensive, it’s time to upgrade!
4) More Memory Needed
If your system slows down dramatically when processing data or transactions, or if you have errors popping up when executing commands, you are probably maxing out your memory. As more data is collected and more codes are available for a wide variety of vehicles, your outdated system may buckle trying to pull the extra weight. Just as graphic designers or video editors will invest in newer PCs or extra storage devices, your fuel system will need to be upgraded over time to keep up with the increased data and functionality. Out of space? Time to upgrade!
While any of these errors or issues may be inconvenient, they should be looked at as signs of good things to come. Your fuel system needs an upgrade, and this upgrade can come with a lot of benefits: extra memory and storage, wireless updating, passive GPS and other new modules, cheaper replacement parts and much more!