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Focus on IT, transport efficiency and road safety

Scania today launches a new fleet management system for truck operators. Connecting the truck fleet to the office via the Internet opens new possibilities to monitor and interact with the vehicle fleet. This further boosts the efficiency and earning capacity of transport operations.

Scania also pursues the safety initiatives launched in Brussels in November. The Young European Truck Driver and the road database initiatives both involve co-operation with EU bodies and other stakeholders across the Continent.

New fleet management system

Scania's fleet management system comprises a range of new modules that can be combined in several ways to suit operators’ needs. Communication is either one-way, allowing the office to monitor each vehicle in the fleet, or two-way, enabling interaction between the office and the vehicle. The messaging system, which is based on SMS messages, can be used to handle driving orders. Positioning and alarm modules are also available.

The simple web-based office interface provides round-the-clock access via the local websites of Scania distributors. Password-protection gives users exclusive access to their own data.

Performance and utilisation data from each vehicle can be processed in several ways. The system is designed to measure and compare data for individual vehicles and drivers. Fuel consumption and performance data can be followed up in detail and areas pinpointed where there is scope for efficiency improvements.

The in-cab equipment is based on a handheld computer with a touch screen that handles all types of information, including an integrated mobile telephone.

Safety initiatives

At a top-level safety conference hosted by Scania in Brussels in November 2001, Scania launched two new initiatives to promote road safety. Among the attendants were more than 250 decision-makers from the European Commission, the European Parliament, as well as other EU officials, road safety experts, journalists and industry representatives (www.scania.com, Media services, Events, Scania Road Safety Seminar 2001).

The ambitions of the EU presented at the conference is to halve road traffic fatalities from more than 40,000 to 20,000 between 2000 and 2010.

Young European Truck Driver: The shortage of truck drivers in Europe today means that less experienced drivers are entering the business. The objective of this initiative is therefore to promote safety, raise the competence and influence attitudes towards truck driving. Scania intends to run the project in co-operation with the European Commission Directorate for Transport and Energy.

Young drivers will be invited to a competition in safe and efficient driving. The competition will involve EU countries and several other countries, with regional and national qualifying rounds. The European final, which is scheduled for early 2003, will test all the essential competences of a good driver. The best and safest truck driver in Europe will be appointed to serve as a model for other young drivers.

Road database with hgv data: A well functioning digital road infrastructure on a pan-European level is fundamental to further developments within intelligent transport systems (ITS). Road administrations, mapping agencies and private companies in several EU countries are now co-operating to work out a project proposal for a Harmonised European Road Data Solution (HERDS). The objective is to pave the way for the creation of a digital European road infrastructure.

The European road data solution will be built on identified user requirements. Scania's initiative will gather stakeholders in road transport and road safety to identify the parameters needed to incorporate heavy vehicle data in the database, how this could be accessed and updated, etc.

The special requirements of commercial vehicles include weight, height, length and width restrictions, as well as noise and environmental considerations. Information about the fastest, safest or shortest route for heavy traffic would be useful for truck operators to achieve maximum efficiency and minimum environmental impact. In addition, this would reduce stress and congestion.

The stakeholders include EU bodies, national road administrations, internet-based map companies, transport operators, research institutes, automotive component and systems suppliers, as well as other truck manufacturers.