Daimler to invest $560m in truck connectivity

Manufacturer to add new service packages to telematics systems

PHOTO: Connected trucks will make it possible to avoid traffic jams and reduce downtime for operators. Credit: Daimler Trucks

Germany’s Daimler Trucks is investing around half a billion euros ($559.6m) over the next five years in connecting its trucks and creating new services and digital solutions, the manufacturer announced.

Beginning at the IAA (International Commercial Vehicle Show) this year, Daimler Trucks will add new service packages to its telematics systems and make platforms accessible to third parties.

“The company has also set up the structural framework for the digital transformation of the truck business, and established corresponding structures in all business units,” Daimler Trucks said in a statement.

Around 365,000 Daimler trucks worldwide are already connected via the FleetBoard telematics system and the Detroit Connect system in North America, a partnership between Daimler Trucks and Zonar Systems Inc. in truck connectivity.

“We are connecting the truck with the internet – making [it] the mobile data centre of the logistics network,” said Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, board member at Daimler AG, responsible for Daimler Trucks & Buses.

Connected trucks will benefit all parties involved in goods transport – drivers, schedulers, fleet operators, workshops, manufacturers, insurance companies and authorities, Bernhard said. “They receive information in real time which was previously unavailable: about the condition of the tractor unit and semitrailer, traffic and weather conditions, the parking availability at motorway service stations, rest areas and much more.”

“Our trucks fully connect with their environment, becoming part of the internet and continuously sending and receiving information. All those involved in the logistical process can use these real-time data for their needs.”

In the future, connected trucks will make it possible to reduce waiting times while loading and unloading, reduce paperwork and avoid traffic jams, he added. Moreover, truck downtime can also be reduced if the vehicle itself reports a fault at an early stage, enabling haulers to schedule a service during planned downtime between transport assignments.

Starting April 1 2016, Mercedes-Benz will establish a new Digital Solutions & Services unit, headed by Dr. Daniela Gerd Tom Markotten. This unit will be responsible for all activities concerning digital applications for Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles.

“While it takes around nine years to develop a new truck, only a few months are available to program software for the user-oriented use of real-time data from a truck,” Daimler Trucks said.


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