Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a new Actros or Arocs with Multimedia Cockpit interactive will find themselves just a click away from an innovative, fully networked world of vehicles, drivers and logistics: an overview of all the installed apps is accessible simply by pressing “Connect” on the main screen of the instrument panel touchscreen.
Transport companies can use the Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal to make the most of the latest networking opportunities available and to equip their trucks with efficiency- and comfort-enhancing apps.
Three Types of Apps
The Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal offers three types of apps: the in-house apps from Daimler, which include apps from Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Fleetboard; selected apps from third-party providers such as, for example, for the digital handling of processes or the handling of transport requests; and apps from the customer. Using these apps, it is possible to effectively integrate the truck into the digital business processes of the transport company. The aim is always to make the everyday life of drivers, dispatchers and fleet managers easier.
Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal: open platform for the use of apps
The customer is thus not only purchasing a truck with Multimedia Cockpit interactive, but also acquiring the technical requirements for the Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal. This can then be used for the customer's entire fleet, including truck models from other manufacturers. Until recently, it was often necessary to install new hardware and software in the cab in order to use fleet management or transport management systems in the truck.
There are plenty of options for developing apps by customers and industry partners, such as apps that support the driver when it comes to loading safety or the processing of freight documents, or even apps that help the driver complete legally required training, both in the classroom and in the truck itself.
The Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal works with the Android operating system, because most apps within the transport sector are Android-based. Also good to know: as the vehicle manufacturer is most commonly responsible for hosting such a platform, all apps are subjected to a rigorous security check by the experts at Daimler before they are made available.
Simple management and integration of apps “over the air”
Apps in the truck are designed to support the drivers and dispatchers as they go about their daily business. They are installed in the vehicles by those in the company responsible for operating the truck and managed by a fleet manager. The updates are installed and updated from the office “over the air” in just a few [simple] steps. The apps can be deleted again just as easily. The vehicle does not have to be present in either of these procedures.
The “Fleetboard Driver” app makes good drivers even better
The “Fleetboard Driver” app can be used by drivers to monitor their own driving performance, with the app sending data compiled while on the road by Fleetboard Time Management and Fleetboard Performance Analysis via the Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal. On the one hand, the driver is kept constantly up-to-date with his current driving times and rest periods, including his respective weekly driving times and the driving time remaining until the next stop. On the other, driving performance from the last seven routes is given a score, with detailed marks assigned and important tips provided for more fuel-efficient driving. Furthermore, the driver can also download the app to his or her own smartphone, calling up relevant vehicle data such as mileage and the fuel display when not in the vehicle with just the swipe of a finger.
Truck Data Center setting the stage for connectivity
The heart of Fleetboard and the basis for further vehicle connectivity solutions in the new Actros and Arocs is the Truck Data Center, an approximately A5-sized networking module. Based on the internationally standardized electric/electronic architecture, it will be installed across all Daimler Trucks’ brands. Through the constant communication of all networked systems on board, several gigabytes of data will be generated per truck each day. The Truck Data Center receives the data from the sensors, cameras and control units in the truck and analyzes them for different applications.
At the same time, the Truck Data Center is the interface for all external networking services: the module emulates the operating concept of a modern smartphone by relying on Bluetooth or 4G signals to communicate with the infrastructure, with other vehicles and with other participants in the logistics process.
Mercedes-Benz Uptime increases vehicle availability thanks to telediagnostics
The Truck Data Center not only forms the basis for the numerous Fleetboard services, but also for Mercedes-Benz Uptime -- the service for sustainably increasing vehicle availability. The aim is to have the trucks out on the road for as long as possible and to complete all transport orders reliably. Maintenance facility appointments can be kept to a minimum and planned more efficiently. In order to avoid breakdowns, the need for any repairs is recognized early on and, with consideration given to operational planning, the customer is supported by arranging any unplanned workshop appointments.
Quick action recommendation for critical conditions
In order for all this to be possible, the fully automatic telediagnostics from Mercedes-Benz Uptime continuously monitors the status of the truck's systems in real time. The trailer is also monitored. The data is interpreted, critical states identified and recommended action given. If required, the customer is immediately provided with an individual solution, which has been optimally coordinated with the respective route planning and vehicle status.
All in all. the new Actros and Arocs with Multimedia Cockpit interactive, the Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal and the Truck Data Center, offer connectivity at its best. Transport companies benefit from the integration of the truck in their business processes and drivers are supported in real time as they go about their daily business behind the wheel.