The Truck Data Center is launched on 1 March 2017, thereby allowing the introduction of new digital services from Mercedes-Benz Trucks: the revolutionary service product Mercedes-Benz Uptime and the new FleetBoard Manager app. Both services require installation of the Truck Data Center in the truck. Unveiled at the 2016 International Motor Show for Commercial Vehicles, the “Truck Data Center” connectivity module will in future form the brain of the connected truck across all brands at Daimler Trucks. It continuously monitors the status of the vehicle systems, in addition to sending and receiving data in real-time. From 1 March 2017, it will be available in all heavy-duty trucks from Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-Benz Uptime represents the intelligent and, above all, predictive connectivity of vehicle, Mercedes-Benz Service and the customer’s transport company. Fully automatic in-service diagnostics continuously monitor the status of the vehicle systems in real-time and allow the early detection of critical states. This makes it possible to prevent breakdowns and other unscheduled repairs while further optimising scheduled workshop visits. The service will be available both individually and in combination with all other Mercedes-Benz service contracts.

The new FleetBoard Manager app will in future offer all Mercedes-Benz customers a simple, fast and free entry into connectivity. The app for smartphones provides useful, free information on the vehicle fleet, such as its capacity utilisation over the course of a week or the positions of individual vehicles, and also identifies potential cost-savings.

Truck Data Center: the centrepiece of the connected truck
Approximately the size of a DIN A5 sheet, the Truck Data Center connectivity module will in future be installed across all brands at Daimler Trucks on the basis of the internationally standardised electrics/electronics architecture. The module is installed as standard in the Mercedes-Benz Actros. It receives data from the truck’s sensors, cameras, etc. and analyses this information for many different applications. As the interface for all connectivity services, it is also responsible for the truck’s external communications: like a modern smartphone, the Truck Data Center communicates in real-time via Bluetooth, 3G signal or GPS with the infrastructure, other vehicles and other entities involved in the logistics process.

Standardisation of the Truck Data Center is combined with maximum adaptability to regional customers’ requirements by means of the software and apps: in future, the Truck Data Center will form the basis for existing connectivity solutions from Daimler Trucks as well as the telematics systems of FleetBoard and Detroit Connect.

Mercedes-Benz Uptime: significant increase in vehicle availability thanks to connectivity
Ahead of the launch, Mercedes-Benz Uptime was extensively piloted in a three-year trial in 1400 trucks in 16 fleets in Germany, Great Britain, Austria and Poland.

Mercedes-Benz Uptime continuously monitors the status of the vehicle systems in real-time via the new Truck Data Center. Within a matter of seconds, the data are interpreted, critical states detected and specific action recommendations issued.

If they signal a need for maintenance or repair, Mercedes-Benz Service immediately assists the customer with a tailor-made solution optimally matched to the current trip planning and vehicle condition. For the customer, this makes it significantly easier to plan workshop visits and vehicle availability.

Prevention of breakdowns: When a truck is at an acute risk of breakdown, the Mercedes-Benz Customer Assistance Center (CAC) in Maastricht, Netherlands, is informed immediately. The CAC then phones the specified contact at the customer’s company. The employees at the CAC inform the customer of the identified repair needs and the necessary actions in order to prevent a breakdown. If an immediate repair is required, the CAC will help to arrange a workshop appointment optimally matched to the customer’s vehicle route and transport assignment. The CAC first checks that the required resources are available at the workshop so that the vehicle can be repaired without delay. This prevents a possible breakdown, the vehicle is quickly repaired and the transport assignment can be completed on schedule.

Efficient repair and maintenance management: Identified at an early stage, maintenance and repair requirements are automatically reported to the Mercedes-Benz service partner selected by the customer. The personal customer adviser bundles the upcoming maintenance and repair needs and actively contacts the customer with a suggested date for the work. Real-time transparency on the condition of the vehicles allows the workshop to make ideal preparations for the customer’s visit – ordering the required parts in good time, scheduling workshop capacity and writing out the repair job.

Real-time support for customer’s service works: information and specific action recommendations for upcoming repairs that the customer can easily carry out for themselves are always made available to the customer in a timely manner via the Mercedes-Benz Uptime customer portal. The fleet manager or driver can intervene immediately to avoid unnecessary workshop visits and repair costs.

Since the 2016 International Motor Show for Commercial Vehicles, Mercedes-Benz Uptime has been available for all new Actros, Arocs and Antos trucks in twelve European markets (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland). Further countries will be added in the course of time. From 1 March 2017, vehicles will be delivered to customers with the Mercedes-Benz Uptime service activated. The service requires installation of the Truck Data Center.

New FleetBoard Manager: useful information on the vehicle fleet available at any time from an app – simple, fast and free
From 20 March 2017, FleetBoard will offer Mercedes-Benz Trucks customers a simple, fast and free entry into connectivity. This is made possible by the new FleetBoard Manager. Use of the app requires installation of the Truck Data Center in the Mercedes-Benz Actros.

The FleetBoard Manager provides customers with useful information on their fleet, such as the total number of kilometres driven in the past seven days as well as a comparison with the previous seven days. It also shows which vehicles have driven the longest and shortest total distances. This data enables customers to see exactly how fleet capacity has been used over the course of a week.

Alongside the number of kilometres driven, it also shows the fleet’s average fuel consumption. It also shows the vehicles with the highest and lowest fuel consumption. This gives customers an insight into the spread between mileage and fuel consumption between the vehicles. At fleet level, the app also shows the percentage of how economically the vehicles perform when on the road. The overview is shown in the form of a simple cluster of scores that is very straightforward to understand. FleetBoard uses these data to calculate the percentage saving in fuel that could be achieved across the whole fleet by targeted driver training – important information that can help to identify further potential cost-savings.

The app also reveals how eco-friendly the fleet is, as well as the level of its CO2 emissions. This is where predictive driving plays an important role in highlighting ways in which to lastingly improve fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

The FleetBoard Manager also enables customers to see the positions of individual vehicles.

Further features, such as the Mercedes-Benz Uptime lite-Widget, will gradually be added to the FleetBoard Manager by regular software updates. Mercedes-Benz Uptime lite will be available free of charge to all customers and provides information on necessary service operations on selected operating fluids and wear parts on the vehicle (e.g. oil level, bulbs, air filter, brake pads, etc.). This information provides an initial idea of how vehicle connectivity can facilitate the repair and maintenance management of a fleet.

The FleetBoard Manager app will be available free of charge from 20 March 2017 for Android (Google Play Store) and iOS (App Store).

Source: Daimler Trucks