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Diesel Control

By Fernando DeMoura

June, 2019

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Years ago, I’d think about what it was going to be like to be a dad one day. I figured it was all about setting an example and passing on as much knowledge and experience as I could. I would share my perspective of the world and teach my children the magic of science and engineering. What I didn’t expect though was that my little girl would be the one teaching me.

I’ve been a father for just over a year now and I’ve grown a new appreciation for just how extraordinary humans can be. My little girl’s name is Amelia and she only knows a few words so I can’t just explain how things work to her. I try to show her but ultimately, she learns about the world through her own two hands and she prefers it that way. If I hold the handlebar of her ATV and steer it around the yard, she gets uninterested but if I step back and let her push all the buttons on the handlebars then I get to see her discover how it works. A human’s ability to self-teach is exceptionally powerful. It’s a miracle just how fast a young human brain can learn.

The ability to self-teach is what separates Artificial Intelligence from just ordinary computer programming. I’ve got an old friend who’s a software engineer that has a daughter that’s two months older than mine. I asked him if Artificial Intelligence could ever learn like a human baby can. Hell no! The amount of raw data coming into the human brain is far greater than any computer could process. Even in 2019, computers are still just groups of high-speed transistors turning on and off, storing and transferring Ones and Zeros. We both agree that we won’t see machines that can learn like our daughters do, not in our lifetimes anyway. 

Could fully autonomous vehicles take all our transportation jobs? No. Not going to happen. Artificial Intelligence might be useful when the job consists of crunching numbers to play a game of chess, but a machine isn’t ever going to do a complex task like driving a truck on a public road as good as an experienced human. 

I got a call from an owner operator who got his 500hp 2001 12.7 BK60 programmed to 625hp and 2050ftlbs and now it runs like crap. I figured someone loaded a 625hp program in it and didn’t realize it was 14-liter program. 

As it turned out the owner would have been better off if the programmer just renamed the owner’s original 500hp program a 625hp program but instead he changed a few things he shouldn’t have and now the program barely makes 400 horsepower. Things like this happen when ECM programs aren’t tested after they’re downloaded. In the photo you can see at 1200 rpm the DDEC is broadcasting its torque output as 1466ftlbs. You can also see percent load and percent throttle are both 100 percent. The program’s engine configuration data tab has peak torque at 2050ftlbs @ 1200rpm. This is an easy way to spot a program that’s been botched or not changed at all. 

Written by Fernando DeMoura, Diesel Control Service.

Phone 412-327-9400.

Website: www.dieselcontrolservice.com