Today’s Pickup: Omnitracs to collaborate with Cummins on remote software solution

Plus: Automakers, flouting Trump, agree to California emissions standards.

Good day,

Omnitracs, the fleet management software and hardware company, has announced a technology collaboration with Cummins that will allow customers with existing hardware to perform Cummins-powered engine calibrations updates remotely.  

Such callibrations can be challenging to coordinate, and often result in missed updates or unplanned downtime, Scott Sparr, Product Manager at Omnitracs, told FreightWaves.  The industry average downtime for standard software downloads is 2.3 days, he said, and the total cost of a day of downtime is $1,000.

The Cummins solution allows drivers to update the engine control unit at the fleet’s and/or driver’s choice in as little as 10 minutes, said Sparr. It “helps ensure that the engine is up to date with the latest updates and will enhance vehicle life and improve productivity.”

Omnitracs has been in the industry for over 30 years, beginning as a satellite communications system for trucking companies developed by Qualcomm. This past May Omnitracs acquired Blue Dot Solutions, a provider of cloud-based workflow software and platform solutions for the transportation industry. 

Did you know?

Ford teased its prototype electric F-150 pickup earlier this week, with a test model that pulled 10 double-decker rail cars, weighing more than 1 million pounds, a distance of 1,000 feet. The model is expected to debut in 2022.



“Tesla is almost doubling all cumulative production every year. This is a totally mad thing – to make as many cars in a year as we have in our entire history and to have that be an ongoing trend. It’s difficult for people to really feel an exponential. We didn’t evolve to feel an exponential. We can feel a linear, but we can only really understand an exponential at a cognitive level.”

-Tesla CEO Elon Musk, speaking during the company’s second quarter earnings call on July 24

In other news

Ford, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen agree to California emissions framework

The automakers will improve their fleet’s average efficiency by 3.7 percent annually, a plan that sets up a clash with the White House’s plan to roll back pollution standards. (CNBC)

The rise of the disrupted

How legacy industries can compete, if not beat, the disrupters. (Forbes)

Atlanta hits pause on scooters after fatality

Activists forced the city to freeze permits after a bus hit and killed a user. (NBC)

Indian food delivery companies compete on quality of food

Hygiene audits, delisted restaurants and more are on the docket for popular apps Zomato, Swiggy and Uber Eats. (

Final thoughts:

Tesla is selling more cars – and making less money.  That was one of the key takeaways gleaned from the electric car maker’s earnings report and investor call on July 24. The company delivered a record number of Model 3s, the car originally targeted toward the affordable end of the market. And yet, the EV maker recorded quarterly losses of $408 million. One contributor is lackluster demand for the pricier S and X models. CEO Elon Musk acknowledged the latter, saying his team wasn’t sure why sales lagged, but “we’ll get to the bottom of it.”

Hammer down, everyone!

Linda Baker, Senior Environment and Technology Reporter

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves senior reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes autonomous vehicles, the startup scene, clean trucking, and emissions regulations. Please send tips and story ideas to