Paccar has made a deal to integrate Platform Science’s Virtual Vehicle into its trucks, allowing fleets to use the software platform to access telematics, software solutions, real-time vehicle data, and a suite of third-party applications directly from the cabs of their Kenworths and Peterbilts.
Beginning in 2024, Paccar trucks will incorporate the Virtual Vehicle open OEM platform to let users take advantage of its telematics and software capabilities, according to Kenworth and Peterbilt news releases. Telematics hardware is installed into the vehicle on the assembly line to avoid aftermarket installation, which Platform Science claims is costly and time-consuming. Customers will be able to access fleet-management functionality, ELD capabilities, truck-specific navigation, and third-party applications directly from their vehicles.
Virtual Vehicle has more than 30 partner apps customers can choose to integrate into the platform, such as Drivewyze PreClear for weigh stations and Trimble Maps. According to a Platform Science press release, its software ecosystem will eventually allow for third-party apps to be downloaded and managed remotely or directly on the truck interface, although it did not give a time frame.
Paccar is the third truck manufacturer to begin integrating Platform Science’s Virtual Vehicle solution into its vehicles. Navistar announced last March that it would begin integrating the platform into International models in 2023. Daimler Truck North America announced a partnership with Platform Science to integrate the technology into its Freightliners and Western Stars in May 2020. During that announcement, Platform Science's CEO and co-founder, Jack Kennedy, explained the company’s goal was not only to be a telematics solution, but to be a platform where other companies can distribute their software.
"The new services powered by Virtual Vehicle will leverage the existing connectivity capabilities of our heavy- and medium-duty truck platforms," said Bart Lore, senior director of Paccar global connected services. "Thanks to the new app ecosystem, Peterbilt vehicles will take a quantum leap in terms of uptime and integration to existing fleet management solutions."
Virtual vehicle integration will launch in 2024 for Kenworth’s Class 8 T680, T880, and W990 models and its medium-duty T180s, T280s, T380s, and T480s. For Peterbilt, it will be available for Class 8 579s and 567s and medium-duty 548s, 537s, 536s, and 535s.