Freightliner’s Cascadia, Detroit Connect receive system updates

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Updated Oct 26, 2017

daimler logoDaimler Trucks North America (DTNA) on Monday introduced a pair of updates to its Detroit Connect Virtual Technician remote diagnostic system, as well as enhancements to the Freightliner Cascadia.

The second series of updates in less than a month for the Cascadia, Freightliner says the upgrades include a keyless entry system and a medical device power supply mounted under the bunk and vented externally.

“Part of what makes the new Cascadia best-in-class is that we are continually making improvements that benefit our customers,” says Kary Schaefer, general manager, marketing and strategy at DTNA. “Much of that focuses on safety and fuel economy of course, but we’re also making our product more productive and functional for the drivers. Each new feature is an important part of ensuring that every new Cascadia is a smart investment.”

The company says the keyless entry option, besides buttons for locking and unlocking, also can roll down windows and, if equipped, test the bulbs on the truck’s exterior before you drive. Each truck purchase includes two keyless entry transmitters that are paired at the plant, and one transmitter can be paired to multiple trucks for fleet owners, the company says.

The medical power supply is designed to provide 8 to 10 hours of power for a typical Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device, which helps people with breathing problems while sleeping. Freightliner says the power supply includes three main components: an Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery securely mounted under the bunk and vented externally; a 12v dedicated, labeled power outlet mounted on the front of the bunk, and a charge control isolator. The battery is automatically recharged from either the alternator or from shore power if so equipped.

Freightliner adds that an AGM is a fine fiberglass mat that offers the benefits of a gelled mat but can withstand more wear and tear. The battery’s design holds the electrolyte in suspension, fueling higher efficiency when discharging and recharging.

Detroit Connect sees new changes 

Regarding its Detroit Connect Virtual Technician remote diagnostic system product, DTNA says the system now features a mobile application and can deliver remote fault event diagnostics for Detroit DT12 automated manual transmissions.

DTNA says app offers many of the same features found in the web-based Detroit Connect portal, making it easier for customers, from on-highway to vocational and medium duty, to gain insights about fleet health, fault event diagnostic information and fault history delivered by Detroit Connect Virtual Technician. A push notification feature immediately notifies users of “service now” fault events delivered by Virtual Technician. With this feature, customers can make quicker maintenance decisions when there is a critical issue with a vehicle.

The app is also designed to incorporate other Detroit Connect features, including Detroit Connect Analytics fuel efficiency insights and safety reporting, which will soon be available for the new Freightliner Cascadia.

“Mobile access to real-time, actionable information regarding a vehicle’s performance is essential for our customers,” says Jason Krajewski, director, connectivity at DTNA. “This new app enables fleet decision makers to take whatever action is needed to maintain uptime and maximize efficiency. It’s another great tool we offer to help our customers get the best performance from our products.”

The mobile application is now available for download for Freightliner and Western Star customers who have an active Detroit Connect subscription. This allows those customers to access information about their vehicles’ performance without needing to be at a desk or on a computer. Available for iOS or Android-enabled mobile devices, DTNA says is available for free in Apple’s App Store or Google Play.

Finally, DTNA says the expansion of the Detroit Connect Virtual Technician remote diagnostic system to the Detroit DT12 automated manual transmissions expands on the popular diagnostic service for Freightliner and Western Star trucks powered by Detroit engines. It will help customers make more informed decisions regarding when and how to repair issues causing fault events, helping them avoid unnecessary downtime, DTNA says.

“The addition of transmission diagnostics is one more way we’re providing critical information to fleets and owner-operators, helping them make smart business decisions within minutes of noticing an issue,” says Krajewski. “Whether it’s helping make the decision to keep the truck on the road, or having that quick initial diagnosis to get the issue resolved as quickly as possible, all of these scenarios help improve uptime for our customers.”

If vehicles do need to be taken to a service center, technicians will have the information to help get the truck repaired as quickly as possible and fixed right the first time. DTNA says the Virtual Technician diagnostic process for the DT12 is similar to the process for Detroit engine and after-treatment systems. When a fault event occurs, Virtual Technician relays details to the customer within minutes. That notification will inform them of the severity of the fault, as well as when, where and how to best fix the issue.

DT12 fault events are categorized based on how severe vehicle drivability is affected:

  • “Service Soon” events are faults that can be addressed at the end of a run or at another time convenient to the customer’s operations. These notifications include information on what should be checked prior to scheduling service.
  • “Service Now” events are faults that could cause the truck too soon become un-drivable and should be serviced immediately.

For the DT12, Virtual Technician will monitor 150 faults, including: not shifting into or out of neutral; engine RPM spikes while shifting; not engaging in forward or reverse gears

“Since we launched Virtual Technician in 2011, we have been improving it by integrating additional Detroit components,” adds Schaefer. “We pride ourselves on helping customers understand their truck’s health and maximizing the uptime.”

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