Daimler standardizes electronics platform for trucks

Daimler standardizes electronics platform for trucks

Technology News |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

Daimler Trucks, parent company of such iconic brands like Freightliner, Western Star or Thomas Built Buses, has announced to extend its platform strategy to the connectivity and cockpit electronics. This platform strategy, hitherto implemented in the area of powertrains for medium-size and heavy vehicles as well as for automated transmissions, accounts for 50 percent of the value creation of such a vehicle.

Now the manufacturer plans to extend this strategy to the electric and electronic equipment. Towards this end, he devised a uniform E/E architecture which in the first place comprises a connectivity platform and an electronic unit that controls the cockpit instruments. The connectivity box, about the size of a thick pocket book, will be the data hub for all brands belonging to the Daimler Trucks & Buses group; Daimler calls the device a “mobile router” and an enabler for future logistics applications.

The connectivity module also functions as a data logger. It continuously receives data from a vast array of sensors and cameras throughout the truck, stores these data and pre-processes them for various downstream applications. In addition, the module interfaces to all connectivity services and thus controls the communications between the truck and the outside world, supporting a broad range of wireless technologies including Bluetooth, WiFi, 4G mobile, and GNSS. Through these channels it can exchange data with the infrastructure, other vehicles and further entities that are part of the logistics process. Examples for potential participants are hauliers, logistics centres, traffic information services and service workshops. Additional applications are possible – much like a smartphone, the platform can run third-party apps.

The module will replace existing connectivity solutions throughout the Daimler group. In addition, it will be the hardware basis for telematics solutions from FleetBoard and Detroit Connect. Plus, it can be integrated into non-Daimler vehicles since it is based on industry standards.

Another integral part of Daimler’s new truck platform strategy is the cockpit module that gathers data from sensors in the vehicle and drives the cockpit instruments. Notwithstanding the different corporate visual cockpit appearance of, for instance, Freightliner or Fuso, the underlying electronics unit will be the same across the board. Daimler did not provide any details as to the features or hardware specifications. The company however said that they expect sales of about 700.000 trucks worldwide in 2020 – all with these standardised electronic components on board.

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