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Transforming IT technology into truck customer values

The objective of Scania's new electronics company, Scania Infotronics AB, is to integrate Scania trucks and buses into the world of informatics. This is a rapidly expanding element in the transport business, which in recent years has become highly international and competitive. Based in Kista – Sweden's 'Silicon Valley' – in the northern suburbs of Stockholm, the company will work on the open market, with Scania as one of its customers.

"One of our tasks is to monitor new developments and translate them into features that improve our customers' operating economy and profits," says Peter Gillbrand, MD of Scania Infotronics.

"Our main challenge is to transform the wishes and needs of our customers into clever systems and features that enhance their operations.

"Since the pace of development is high, we need to have the competence and resources to stay ahead and be able to act and respond with minimum delay."

Electronics made their debut in commercial vehicles in the early 1980s. These systems have since been developed into utterly practical and reliable components in high-tech vehicle design. The current stage of development is mechatronics, where mechanical systems are integrated with electronics to form a functional entity.

"The latest step in this field is to connect all computers in the vehicle on a 'vehicle Intranet', much like the computer network we have in our offices," says Björn Linderö, responsible for transport informatics development at Scania.

"This makes for a simple and flexible installation with a minimum of wiring. Essentially it consists of one wiring loop carrying information for every electric and electronic system on the vehicle.

"The next era, which we can envisage expanding dramatically within the next few years, is infotronics – connecting the vehicle Intranet to the Internet," states Mr Linderö. "In this new step, mechatronics merge with informatics, making the truck or bus an integral part of an external information structure. This structure includes the Internet, navigation systems, GPS, office services and mobile communication.

"Here we intend to put Scania at the forefront of development. Scania trucks and buses shall be powerful contributors and integrated elements in our customers' information structure. Our on-board systems will be characterised by openness and easy integration.

"Among the areas we are looking into are fleet management, navigation, maintenance monitoring, trouble-shooting, scheduling, route planning. Such functions will form an integral part of future vehicle generations, enriching the customer's choice with many useful options."

For further information, please contact:Per-Erik Nordström, Corporate Communications, tel. +46 70 5535577,Peter Gillbrand, Scania Infotronics AB, tel. +46 70 8225969,Hasse Johansson, Mecel AB, tel +46 532 62102