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Tools to manage the fleet - a flexible interface to the future

Scania launches an innovative and flexible interface that enables existing fleet management systems on the market so to derive and process data from Scania's on-board data bus. The interface is a highly flexible platform for further developments and applications in the years to come, largely dedicated to more efficient use of the vehicle fleets. Better logistics and fewer empty runs will help reduce the environmental impact of transportation.

As an option, Scania introduces a one-way interface box that reads and communicates relevant parts of the traffic on the on-board CAN bus (Computer Area Network) to external systems. This data can be used in various ways by third-party fleet management systems that exist on the market.

Scania has chosen to make data from the vehicle available to other suppliers because this gives both operators and FMS (Fleet Management System) suppliers greater flexibility to customise the vehicle’s communication system integrate on- and off-board systems with the vehicle.

Scania’s initiative to use the pure high-level SAE J1939 protocol is intended to further strengthen this interface protocol as the truck data communication standard. create a standard for the interface to FMS systems from the CAN bus on all trucks. This would once-and-for-all solve the mixed-fleet problem.

Readings

The data available via the databus include the fuel consumed, the time of operation and the distance travelled. This data can naturally be used to calculate the fuel consumed, instant and average fuel consumption, instant and average speed and the distance travelled.

Depending on the features of the auxiliary FMS equipment, this data can be processed in various other ways and communicated to an office-based follow-up, monitoring or maintenance system.

The auxiliary system may be specialised on tasks like navigation, logstics, tracking and positioning, but can now also make use of a continuous flow of vehicle data. Office-based systems can compile statistics about the fleet and of individual vehicles.

Operation

The vehicle computers (EDC, Retarder, Opticruise, EBS, ABS etc.) all communicate via an on-board CAN bus. As an option, the vehicle’s data bus can be provided with an interface that slots part of the information out through a firewall - one-way only - in a standardised encoded format (J1939) to a standardised interface. The firewall and interface are necessary to safeguard against hazards caused by interference with the vehicle’s computer systems. Scania assures the integrity of the vehicle database regardless of which FMS system is connected.

From the interface, the vehicle data can be processed by third-party equipment. This gives the operator access to a number of different systems and features, making the equipment compatible with other systems on the fleet. Some of these systems already combine vehicle functions with GSM communication and GPS navigation and positioning.

Open future

Scania has chosen to make data from the vehicle available to other suppliers because this gives both operators and FMS suppliers greater flexibility to customise the vehicle’s communication system.

Scania does not provide its own FMS equipment at this stage, but the open architecture of Scania’s system has huge potential for the future. Of course, much more vehicle data can be extracted from the CAN-bus. This data can be used by Scania for new peripherals, as well as by manufacturers of communication equipment, for example. The possibilities offered by forthcoming wireless communication and Internet technologies are fascinating.

Available to customers from February 2000.