Detroit aligns with AT&T, Microsoft for enhanced connectivity services

Oct. 12, 2016

Detroit Diesel Corporation, a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), announced collaborations with AT&T and Microsoft Corp. to deliver enhancements to its Detroit Connect suite of connected vehicle services. The announcements were made during the American Trucking Associations’ 2016 Management Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas NV.

AT&T will provide Internet of Things connectivity for the new Detroit Connect Truck Data Center platform. Exclusive to the new Freightliner Cascadia, the platform features communications hardware that will deliver new capabilities for Detroit Connect, including Detroit Connect Remote Updates, which enables over-the-air engine programming and powertrain electronic firmware update capabilities for customers, as well as the ability to integrate third-party telematics applications. Microsoft will support all Detroit Connect services with the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

“Our collaboration with technology leaders such as AT&T and Microsoft further enhance our ability to provide advanced connected vehicle solutions that will deliver vehicle performance insights and update capabilities to our customers,” said Matt Pfaffenbach, director, connectivity for Daimler Trucks North America. “With the enhancements to Detroit Connect, we’re able to deepen the connection between our customers and their vehicles more than ever before.”

Chris Penrose, senior vice-president, Internet of Things Solutions, AT&T, said: “Daimler Trucks North America is an industry leader in innovative solutions and represents more than 40% of the long-haul trucking market in the United States and Canada. The Detroit Connect platform is a prime example of how Internet of Things connectivity can improve efficiency, safety, and performance in connected vehicles. We look forward to providing our global connected vehicle expertise and IoT solutions for these trucks.”

The connectivity platform will be available with start-of-production of the new Freightliner Cascadia in January 2017. A five-year standard base package, including Detroit Connect Virtual Technician remote diagnostic service, access to the new Detroit Connect portal, and later in 2017, Remote Updates and third-party application integration.

Detroit has collaborated with Microsoft to establish a new cloud-based back office environment for all Detroit Connect services, including the new features, such as Detroit Connect Remote Updates, enabled by the new Truck Data Center connectivity platform. The Microsoft Azure cloud platform helps process greater amounts of vehicle performance data and delivers it reliably and more securely to Detroit customers.  

“Today’s massive digital transformation of the automotive industry can open up many new opportunities for freightliners,” said Sanjay Ravi, managing director, Worldwide Discrete Manufacturing, Enterprise and Partner Group, Microsoft. “The power of increased connectivity and the Microsoft Azure cloud platform will allow Detroit to deliver context-specific insights from vast networks of data and enhance the reliability, richness and convenience of their services for customers.”

Added Pfaffenbach: “We’re excited about the powerful impact that AT&T and Microsoft will have on our Detroit Connect Truck Data Center platform, and the positive business implications this will have for our customers.”

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