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Scania Australia signs up its 1000th connected vehicle

Truck and Bus operators apply cutting-edge technology to reduce fleet running costs and emissions, and improve safety in one of Australia’s most dangerous industries.

Scania is leading the roll-out of intelligent fleet utilisation and efficiency enhancement, with the celebration of its 1000th vehicle today connecting to the Scania OnBoard and Optimise platforms.

Connected fleet analysis allows Scania customers full visibility regarding vehicle use and driver behaviour, and Scania’s unique follow-up coaching concept prolongs the benefits of efficiency tips passed on by the Scania Master Driver Trainers.

“Scania Driver Services was established to activate the full benefits of the Scania Communicator; the on-board data management centre that collects information on how the vehicle is performing and how it is being driven,” says Alexander Sundin, Scania Australia Driver Services Manager.

“Not only can we pin-point areas of operation that can help reduce fuel use, but we can also identify opportunities to reduce driver fatigue, which reduces the potential for accidents.

“We began offering Scania OnBoard and Scania Optimise to our customers just a few months ago and the results have been exceptionally promising. We have just signed up our 1000th vehicle to the programme, which covers trucks and buses equipped with the Scania Communicator.

“The Scania Communicator has been fitted as standard for more than a year but was available as an option earlier on,” he says.

“We are confident the rate of adoption will continue to accelerate as fleet customers experience the full benefits of the OnBoard and Optimise programmes, which enable them to make significant improvements to their total operating expenditure,” Sundin says.

Five years ago, Scania introduced connectivity as standard in the European markets. Today connected customers in more than 50 countries gain access to services in order to follow up and evaluate the performance of their vehicles. 

In 2015, almost 70,000 Scania connected trucks and buses were added, to bring the total today to 170,000.

“Our customers are increasingly seeing the opportunities presented by connectivity in order to improve the efficiency of their vehicle performance and therefore reduce costs. Interest is growing in line with the extension of our connected services offer,” says Mattias Lundholm, Head of Scania’s Connected Services and Solutions business unit in Sweden.

Scania’s investment in connectivity began as far back as the early 2000s, when the first digital Fleet Management services were launched. Back then it was about information obtained from the vehicle’s electronic management systems, which was used to analyse fuel consumption and wear and tear, and for example, how a driver shifted gears, braked and made use of the engine’s speed range. 

This data formed the basis for the Scania Driver Training service, later supplemented by the Scania Driver Coaching service, which today are key elements in the Scania Optimise concept.

With assistance from the Scania Driver Services team, operators may be able to achieve fuel savings of around 10 percent, which for operators in long-distance haulage can amount to a significant annual saving.

In Europe, Scania´s service workshops have started using connectivity technology to remotely read vehicle data and diagnose the vehicle in order to reduce downtime in connection with planned workshop visits as well as emergency service along the road.

The next step in the development of communication with the vehicle is service and maintenance, which is based on its specific use and driving style instead of just driving distance, which traditionally applies in the industry.  

Scania regards the development of electronic control systems as a core business activity and the information from connected vehicles as a strategic asset.

“The strategy was established during the 1990s and has enabled Scania to launch various systems for encouraging and helping drivers to drive fuel-efficiently and safely,” says Lundholm.

In late 2014, the Scania Watch was introduced, which is the truck industry’s first wearable device: a wristwatch with which the driver can remotely read vehicle data but can also obtain information about driving and rest times as well as his/her physical condition. Scania’s development of wearables will gradually evolve and simplify everyday life for the driver both when it comes to work and leisure.

“The Scania Watch is the first example in our development of connected services, which extends far beyond communication with the actual vehicle and its electronic systems. 

“In the future, operators and drivers will only need to perform two keystrokes – one to unlock their phone or tablet and one to click on a Scania icon – to be able to order anything from time at the workshop to food and other services at the next stop,” says Lundholm.