Looking ahead to the Commercial Vehicles show IAA in September, Mercedes-Benz Trucks is today presenting two new digital services, Mercedes-Benz Uptime and the FleetBoard Store for Apps, which will enable customers to boost truck productivity on a daily basis. In addition, Mercedes-Benz is launching state-of-the-art safety systems for heavy-duty commercial vehicles in the form of the Sideguard Assist and the latest generation of Active Brake Assist (ABA 4) featuring pedestrian detection. Mercedes-Benz is also extending its ambition to lead in the area of fuel consumption: thanks to the latest efficiency packages the Mercedes-Benz Actros models’ consumption could be reduced by six percent. Part of the new “Road Efficiency” concept, these measures ensure that, overall, customers are able to make even more economical use of their trucks. Mercedes-Benz Trucks brings the visions of the future that have been presented in recent months to the road by products and services.
Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks: “Reliability and maximum availability are top priority for our customers. With Mercedes-Benz Uptime we can considerably increase these requests thanks to real-time data and connectivity. Our customers have always expected us to provide them with the best vehicle in terms of efficiency, safety and connectivity. And we will continue to deliver that in future, too. On the occasion of the Commercial Vehicles show IAA we bring quite concrete innovations in all three divisions to market.”
Mercedes-Benz Uptime: Greater vehicle availability by using real-time data
Thanks to comprehensive truck connectivity, Mercedes-Benz is launching Uptime, a completely new service for its customers, at the Commercial Vehicles show IAA in September. The aim of the new service is to considerably increase vehicle availability for operators in their day-to-day business. Mercedes-Benz Uptime offers customers triple added value: 1) Due to continuous real time evaluation of the available data from the truck, the operator will be contacted actively before a part needs replacing or other repairs become absolutely necessary. This reduces the risk of breakdown and time lost by haulage contractors considerably. This is an important factor in countries such as France where roadside repairs are prohibited and any truck requiring repair has to be towed to a workshop. 2) Due to intelligent appointment scheduling, customers are able to plan maintenance and repairs for the ideal time in terms of their own order management and can therefore plan downtime more effectively. 3) Mercedes-Benz Uptime supports customers on maintenance and repair tasks that they perform themselves within their company’s own fleet and workshop organisation.
Mercedes-Benz Uptime continuously monitors the status of vehicle systems via a new connectivity hardware which is the same for all Daimler Trucks – rather like measuring the truck’s pulse. Permanently, data from all the sensors installed in the vehicle are received and the status of the vehicle systems is checked all of the time and continuously. When an impending need for repair or maintenance work emerges, the truck relays this information automatically to the server of Mercedes-Benz Service. The data is analysed and interpreted there in real time. Together with specific recommended courses of action the data are then passed to the Mercedes-Benz service organisation. The service organization then contacts the customer, provides support in the form of recommended courses of action and takes care of finding a workshop and the organisational matters in the case of urgent repairs.
Excellent feedback for Mercedes-Benz Uptime based on extensive customer testing in 1400 trucks
Mercedes-Benz has subjected Uptime to extensive testing over a two-year period on board 1400 trucks in 16 fleets in Germany, the UK, Austria and Poland. The trials met with a highly positive response, surpassing the companies’ expectations across the board.
A new hardware component for Daimler Trucks is the precondition for using the new service product Uptime. Standardised electrical/electronic (E/E) architecture deployed across different regions and brands provides the technological basis built on a completely new design of standardised connectivity hardware. This module is roughly the size of an A5 sheet of paper and will be installed in all Daimler Trucks brands in future. At Mercedes-Benz Trucks it is to be deployed as the FleetBoard Connectivity platform. By 2020, Daimler Trucks will invest around half a billion euros in the networking of its trucks with their surroundings and in developing specific new applications.
FleetBoard Store for Apps as an open platform for third party providers
Mercedes-Benz Trucks is launching the new FleetBoard Store for Apps from early 2017. Acting as a kind of iTunes for the truck transport sector, this is a service that users are familiar with from their smartphones and tablets. This platform is deliberately open by design. It means that software experts for other industry partners such as bodybuilders, logistics specialists and customers will be able to contribute useful apps for everyone involved in transportation. The result will be a more efficient road haulage sector overall.
At present there are around 180,000 vehicles with FleetBoard systems in operation with around 6,000 customers. FleetBoard not only connects vehicles made by Mercedes-Benz. Other vehicle brands can also be retrofitted with the FleetBoard hardware at any time, and easily integrated into the logistics management system. Even companies with mixed fleets can keep track of their entire fleet at all times.
Safety technology pioneer: pedestrian detection in trucks available for the first time
For freight carriers and their customers it is essential that drivers, trucks and loads reach their destinations safely. Maximum road traffic safety is part of the vision of accident-free driving of Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
To date, safety systems in trucks have served first and foremost to avoid serious accidents on motorways and highways despite increasing transport services. With the Sideguard Assist and Active Brake Assist 4 Mercedes-Benz Trucks transfers the state-of-the-art safety technology into urban traffic and affords protection above all to the most vulnerable road users – pedestrians and cyclists. Sideguard Assist is the first assistance system available in the branch that draws the truck driver’s attention to pedestrians and cyclists in cornering situations, and which can thus significantly increase safety in urban traffic. The German Insurance Association (GDV) expects that with a Sideguard Assist around half of all accidents between trucks and pedestrians and cyclists can be avoided in future.
Active Brake Assist 4 is the first emergency braking system for trucks that can markedly reduce the risk of accidents with pedestrians in towns and cities. Whereas Active Break Assist 3 already initiates braking fully automatically in response to stationary and moving obstacles such as slow-moving vehicles in front or at the end of a tailback, the new ABA 4 now also detects pedestrians in urban traffic who are walking between parked cars onto the road. In this case, the vehicle will independently initiate partial braking.
Greater efficiency: Up to six percent less fuel consumption by the Actros models
Mercedes-Benz Trucks has always offered its customers vehicles which help to keep the total cost of ownership low for customers by way of continuous improvements in fuel consumption. With the latest generation of heavy-duty truck engines from Mercedes-Benz and optimisations made to the vehicle as a whole, the consumption of Actros models could be lowered by up to six percent.
Since the generation change in 2011, Mercedes-Benz has succeeded in continually reducing the overall fuel consumption of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros models compared to their predecessors based on a variety of further developments relating to the drive system. In conjunction with the optimised twelve-speed PowerShift 3 transmissions, new low-friction engine oils, Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) and aerodynamic measures, the Actros customer in 2016 benefits from up to 15 percent lower fuel consumption in comparison with the preceding model.
Mercedes-Benz has therefore kept its customer promise to provide the most fuel-efficient vehicle on the market – as demonstrated on more than 2000 comparison drives known as “fuel duels” across Europe in recent years. In these comparison drives, customers tested Mercedes-Benz trucks in their fleet against vehicles manufactured by leading competitors. The result was clear: Mercedes-Benz was able to win over 90 percent of the tests, with fuel-consumption advantages of 10 percent and more.
Source: Daimler Trucks