Detroit recently marked the 200,000 installation of its Detroit Connect Virtual Technician integrated remote diagnostic system hardware, just five years after its launch.
The milestone hardware unit was installed on a Freightliner Cascadia Evolution truck equipped with a Detroit DD15 engine and delivered to Penske Truck Leasing Co.
“The Detroit Connect team found a solution that provides the data we need from Virtual Technician and delivers it directly into our own IT environment,” says Paul Rosa, senior vice president, procurement and fleet planning for Penske Truck Leasing Co. “This is a great combination of the OEM’s knowledge of the truck applied to our own internal systems and processes.”
When Virtual Technician was introduced in 2011, parent company Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) was the first truck OEM to deliver a remote engine and aftertreatment diagnostic service. Today, Virtual Technician serves as the foundation of the Detroit Connect suite of connected vehicle solutions.
Developed in collaboration with DTNA’s partner Zonar Systems Inc., Virtual Technician is standard on all Freightliner and Western Star trucks equipped with Detroit heavy duty engines, including the DD13, DD15 and DD16. Utilizing Zonar’s VTHU communications hardware platform, the technology records engine or aftertreatment fault code events and uses cellular communications to notify fleets of the severity of the problem within two minutes. This helps fleets make informed business decisions so that they only service their vehicles when needed, ultimately spending less time in the shop, reducing diagnostic time and increasing vehicle uptime.
A new portal, launching later this year, will provide Detroit Connect users additional information about overall fleet health, as well as let them take a deeper dive into specific fault events communicated through Virtual Technician. DTNA is also developing a new telematics platform that will be available on select truck models in 2017. The platform – which will introduce over-the-air engine parameter programming capabilities – will utilize new cellular-enabled communications hardware that can be used globally.
“We are going to continue to develop new technologies that deliver vehicle performance and health insights to our customers that will have positive impacts on their businesses,” says Matt Pfaffenbach, director, telematics for Daimler Trucks North America. “By deepening our telematics offerings, we will remain on the forefront of integrating intelligent solutions with our vehicles to benefit not only our customers, but the transportation industry.”