Daimler Trucks pushing forward

8 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 9, 2016

Daimler Trucks pushing forward with its platform strategy as the leading global manufacturer of trucks, Daimler Trucks is taking specific measures to further strengthen that position. The company is expanding its strategic pillars of intelligent platforms and modules beyond the existing modular drivetrain components. The Daimler Trucks teams are cooperating closely as well as across brands and regions in order to apply new and established technologies to meet customers‘ requirements. In addition to the platform strategy, Daimler Trucks has continuously been implementing the two other pillars of its strategy for the past three years now: technology leadership and global market presence.

As Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, member of the board of management of Daimler AG and responsible for Daimler Trucks & Buses says: “We are already profiting like no other manufacturer from the technological and financial potential of our multi-brand engine and transmission platforms. We are now tackling the next components: chassis and electrics/electronics.” Dr Bernhard said in a challenging environment, the value of the company‘s strategy was apparent and would be developed further.

“We are implementing defined measures step by step – in all areas of our strategy. This applies to innovative technologies: We invented the truck – and we also intend to shape its future. That‘s why we are progressing with efficient drive systems just like with connected and autonomous driving.” He went on to say the company was also strengthening its worldwide presence.

“With our new regional centres, we are moving even closer to our customers. And with the next stage of our intelligent platforms, we will maintain our lead over the competition also in this respect.”

Daimler Trucks is significantly expanding its intelligent platform strategy The platforms for drivetrain components for medium- and heavy-duty engines and for automated transmissions are already successful in the market. These components account for about 50% of a truck‘s value added. Daimler Trucks is now introducing multi-brand platforms also for other truck module groups, thus utilising existing synergy potential. This includes uniform electrics/electronics architecture, chassis and cab. Joint development and purchasing will be carried out wherever there is no impact on customer perception and brand differentiation.

“Customers in the market will profit from this standardisation due to the quick availability and first-class quality of the relevant truck technologies. For Daimler Trucks, it will result in significant synergy advantages and free resources, which in turn can be used for new technology projects,” said Dr Bernhard. 

Example: further synergies through standardised electrics/electronics architecture In the future, Daimler Trucks will apply standardised electrics/electronics architecture (E/E) across various regions and brands. This is the basis for bringing electronic modules into vehicles and innovations to customers faster.

In order to further strengthen its leading position with approximately 365,000 trucks already connected worldwide, Daimler Trucks is introducing completely newly developed, standardised connectivity hardware for all of its trucks. This module is about as big as an A5 sheet of paper and will be installed in all Daimler Trucks brand vehicles. It is the heart of the connected truck and is where all real-time data is received and transmitted. This ‘mobile router‘ will be the basic building block for the sustainable and efficient logistics of the future.

How exactly will it work? On the one hand, the module constantly checks the truck‘s pulse: It receives data from all of the sensors, cameras and so on installed in the truck, and evaluates them for various applications. In addition, the module is the interface for all connectivity services, and is therefore responsible for the truck‘s external communications: Like a modern smartphone, the device communicates in real time via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 4G, GPS or USB with the infrastructure, other vehicles and other players involved in the logistics process. They might be haulage companies, logistics centres, traffic information services or service workshops. Further applications are possible.

New connectivity hardware as of early 2017 Maximum standardisation fits with maximum adaptability for regional customer needs with the use of software and apps. In the future, the module will constitute the hardware for the existing connectivity solutions of Daimler Trucks: the telematics systems of FleetBoard and Detroit Connect. A decisive factor is that the hardware allows a completely open system; that is, it can be installed in vehicles that are not produced by Daimler. Daimler Trucks will integrate its trucks into the Cloud already in 2017, when heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz trucks will be delivered in Europe with the module as standard equipment; other markets will follow soon afterwards, as well as other high-volume vehicles of the Daimler Trucks brands. In the mid term, the medium-duty trucks of Daimler Trucks will also be fitted with the uniform components.

Uniform E/E architecture will allow rapid introduction of multi-brand modules such as instrument clusters Further evidence of the systematic implementation of the platform strategy at Daimler Trucks and of the advantages of a uniform E/E architecture is a uniform, multi-brand module for the instrument cluster in the truck cab. While the instrument cluster with speedometer, rev counter, fuel gauge etc. retains the brand-typical appearance of a heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner or Fuso truck, its inner workings and rear housing will have standardised dimensions and connections. This is another example of how Daimler Trucks is systematically benefiting from economies of scale by using standard components across the various regions.

Ambitious target for unit sales until 2020 “Our latest example of intelligent platforms shows quite clearly that we implement what we announce. And we have initiated the right measures to offset short-term fluctuations – and to achieve our long-term goals,” stated Dr Bernhard. “We continue to assume that we will achieve unit sales of the magnitude of 700,000 vehicles in 2020 – and will thus safeguard our position at the top of our industry.”

Photo with the index number 16A524 is available online at: www.media.daimler.com: Caption 16A524: Daimler Trucks Portfolio