Daimler Trucks is the leading global manufacturer of trucks and is taking specific measures to further strengthen that position. For example, the company is systematically expanding its strategic pillars of intelligent platforms and modules beyond the existing modular drivetrain components. The Daimler Trucks teams are cooperating closely as well as across brands and regions in order to optimally apply new and established technologies to meet customers’ requirements. In addition to the platform strategy, Daimler Trucks has continuously been implementing the two other pillars of its strategy for the past three years now: technology leadership and global market presence.
Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Daimler Trucks & Buses: “Particularly in a challenging environment, the value of the company’s strategy is apparent. At Daimler Trucks, our strategy is working out. And we are systematically developing it further. We are implementing defined measures step by step – in all areas of our strategy. This applies to innovative technologies: We invented the truck – and we also intend to shape its future. That’s why we are progressing with efficient drive systems just like with connected and autonomous driving. We are also strengthening our worldwide presence: Already today, we are more globally positioned than any other manufacturer. With our new regional centers, we are moving even closer to our customers. And with the next stage of our intelligent platforms, we will maintain our lead over the competition also in this respect.”
Daimler Trucks is significantly expanding its intelligent platform strategy
The platforms for drivetrain components for medium- and heavy-duty engines and for automated transmissions are already successful in the market. These components account for about 50 percent of a truck’s value added. Daimler Trucks is now introducing multi-brand platforms also for other truck module groups, thus utilizing existing synergy potential. This includes uniform electrics/electronics architecture, chassis and cab. Joint development and purchasing will be carried out wherever there is no impact on customer perception and brand differentiation.
In this way, the world’s biggest truck manufacturer is continually further developing its unique technology and market position, with great advantages for customers and the Daimler Group. Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard: “Customers in the market will profit from this standardization due to the quick availability and first-class quality of the relevant truck technologies. For Daimler Trucks, it will result in significant synergy advantages and free resources, which in turn can be used for new technology projects.”
Example: further synergies through standardized electrics/electronics architecture
In the future, Daimler Trucks will apply standardized electrics/electronics architecture (E/E) across various regions and brands. This is the basis for bringing electronic modules into vehicles and innovations to customers faster. Speed is especially important when it is a matter of connectivity innovations. In order to further strengthen its leading position with approximately 365,000 trucks already connected worldwide, Daimler Trucks is introducing completely newly developed, standardized connectivity hardware for all of its trucks. This module is about as big as a DIN A5 sheet of paper and will be installed in all Daimler Trucks brand vehicles. It is the heart of the connected truck and is where all real-time data is received and transmitted. This “mobile router” will thus be the basic building block for the sustainable and efficient logistics of the future.
How exactly will it work? On the one hand, the module constantly checks the truck’s pulse: It receives data from all of the sensors, cameras and so on installed in the truck, and evaluates them for various applications. In addition, the module is the interface for all connectivity services, and is therefore responsible for the truck’s external communications: Like a modern smartphone, the device communicates in real time via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 4G, GPS or USB with the infrastructure, other vehicles and other players involved in the logistics process. They might be haulage companies, logistics centers, traffic information services or service workshops. Further applications are possible.
New connectivity hardware as of early 2017
Maximum standardization fits with maximum adaptability for regional customer needs with the use of software and apps. In the future, the module will constitute the hardware for the existing connectivity solutions of Daimler Trucks: the telematics systems of FleetBoard and Detroit Connect. A decisive factor is that the hardware allows a completely open system; that is, it can be installed in vehicles that are not produced by Daimler. Daimler Trucks will integrate its trucks into the Cloud already in 2017, when heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz trucks will be delivered in Europe with the module as standard equipment; other markets will follow soon afterwards, as well as other high-volume vehicles of the Daimler Trucks brands. In the mid term, the medium-duty trucks of Daimler Trucks will also be fitted with the uniform components.
Uniform E/E architecture will allow rapid introduction of multi-brand modules such as instrument clusters
Further evidence of the systematic implementation of the platform strategy at Daimler Trucks and of the advantages of a uniform E/E architecture is a uniform, multi-brand module for the instrument cluster in the truck cab. While the instrument cluster with speedometer, rev counter, fuel gauge etc. retains the brand-typical appearance of a heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner or Fuso truck, its inner workings and rear housing will have standardized dimensions and connections. This is another example of how Daimler Trucks is systematically benefiting from economies of scale by using standard components across the various regions.
Ambitious target for unit sales until 2020
“Our latest example of intelligent platforms shows quite clearly that we implement what we announce. And we have initiated the right measures to offset short-term fluctuations – and to achieve our long-term goals,” stated Wolfgang Bernhard. “We continue to assume that we will achieve unit sales of the magnitude of 700,000 vehicles in 2020 – and will thus safeguard our position at the top of our industry.”
Source: Daimler AG