Detroit Diesel Corporation Wednesday introduced Detroit Connect, a telematics arm that includes Detroit’s Virtual Technician onboard diagnostics system.
Parent company Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) says Detroit Connect is the first OEM provided, factory-installed telematics solution with remote diagnosis capability for the trucking industry.
“With products like Detroit Virtual Technician and Visibility fleet software, Detroit has already established a solid foundation for telematics solutions,” says David Hames, general manager, marketing and strategy for Daimler Trucks North America. “By formalizing the Detroit Connect brand, we are utilizing and building upon this groundwork to pave the way for additional product introductions and enhancements.”
In conjunction with the launch of the brand, Detroit Connect has also introduced its new On-Board Tablet.
The On-Board Tablet joins Virtual Technician and Visibility fleet software solutions to create a comprehensive suite of services that form the critical link between vehicles, engineers, service outlets and fleet managers.
The tablet comes equipped with four apps to streamline driver communications and responsibilities, and was eveloped in collaboration with Zonar Systems.
The 7-inch color touch screen Android tablet provides Hours-of-Service logs for reporting; Two-Way Messaging including text to voice; Advanced Navigation for asset-specific routing and simplified Pre- and Post-trip Inspection.
The Detroit Connect On-Board Tablet will be available for Freightliner trucks as a factory-installed option beginning early 2014 on new truck orders. Retrofit kits will also be available. Availability in Western Star trucks will be announced at a later date.
Brad Williamson, manager, engine and component marketing for DTNA says more than 60,000 Freightliner and Western Star customers have already benefitted from Detroit Connect solutions, adding, “the new On-Board Tablet will make it even easier to streamline and optimize data and communications.”
Detroit Virtual Technician is available for Freightliner and Western Star trucks with an EPA 2010 or newer Detroit engines, and provides a technical snapshot of the engine’s status as soon as the Check Engine light comes on.
The Detroit Customer Support Center then relays the information to the provided contact to determine the issue, recommended service, how soon the engine needs to be serviced, and supply the closest authorized Detroit service location. Often, depending on the issue, the driver can complete the delivery before visiting the service center.
Visibility fleet software uses wireless communication and a GPS satellite network to deliver real-time data on the entire fleet to a secured website, enabling fleet managers and owners to monitor the status of one or all of the trucks. The software generates reports that analyze fleet efficiency, and provides detailed information on vehicle location, speed, mileage, routes, stop times, idle times and more.