The number of connected trucks is growing, and fleet managers hope that translates into a positive impact on vehicle uptime and sustainability.
Scania says its transformational technology already is boosting both.
The Swedish commercial vehicle manufacturer launched Flexible Maintenance contracts only two years ago, and says it already had 70,000 customers under contract by the end of 2018—a 68% increase year over year—as more carriers opt for maintenance contracts and time-saving services that leverage connected trucks.
The service is giving customers up to a full day of extra operation each year, boosting their profitability and the service they provide to their customers, Scania said.
“This is one of several signs that connectivity is transforming heavy transport,” said Karin Rådström, executive vice president, and head of sales and marketing at Scania. “From the customer’s point of view, the results of Scania’s embrace of connectivity back in 2011 are becoming more and more beneficial by the year.
“Better uptime and smarter planning means improved bottom line and more sustainable transport.”
Scania reports putting more than 360,000 of its connected trucks and buses on the road by the end of last year, saying about 90% of the rolling fleet in Europe is connected, and other parts of the world are following.
The total rolling fleet of Scania vehicles drives 2.9 billion kilometers (1.8 billion miles) every month. In 2011, the corresponding figure was 62 million kilometers (38 million miles). It’s the wealth of data provided by vehicles’ on-board connected devices that allows Scania to provide tailored services such as Scania Maintenance with Flexible Plans, vehicle servicing based on real-time operational data and actual vehicle usage.
Here, the operational data of each truck is monitored when deciding on maintenance needs. Thus, for example, oil and filter changes can be made at an ideal time, cutting the amount of time in the workshop, improving customer economy and making part changes as sustainable as possible.
“Connectivity is invaluable in research and development,” said Claes Erixon, executive vice president, and head of research and development at Scania. “The volume of operational data from on-road Scania vehicles is doubled every 20 months. Engineers benefit from all this information when designing new features or improving existing functions.
“They can then delve into all previous data to determine, for example, component wear and durability as the starting point for an optimal design.”
Real-time data from connected vehicles also is broadening the range of services Scania can offer to its customers, the company said.
Connectivity is the basis for Scania Fleet Management, with its insights into driving styles, productivity and economy that can improve vehicle performance and enhance safety. This is vital for operating economically, road safety and environmental impact, and allows Scania to provide driver training and personal coaching, as well as on-board driver-focused systems.