Daimler Trucks is moving forward with its platform strategy to standardize electrics/electronics architecture across brands and regions, according to a new press release from the company.
To put that perhaps more simply — there’ll be uniform hardware at the hearts of the company’s trucks, potentially allowing for rapid rollout of “technological innovations” (autonomous driving, etc.).
A Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Daimler Trucks & Buses, Wolfgang Bernhard, commented: “Particularly in a challenging environment, the value of the company’s strategy is apparent. At Daimler Trucks, our strategy is working out. And we are systematically developing it 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. We are also strengthening our worldwide presence: Already today, we are more globally positioned than any other manufacturer. With our new regional centers, 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.”
The press release provides more:
In the future, Daimler Trucks will apply standardized 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. Speed is especially important when it is a matter of connectivity innovations. In order to further strengthen its leading position with approximately 365,000 trucks already connected worldwide, Daimler Trucks is introducing completely newly developed, standardized connectivity hardware for all of its trucks. This module is about as big as a DIN 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 thus 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 centers, traffic information services or service workshops. Further applications are possible.
“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,” continued Wolfgang 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.”
Well, that’s an open question. But it’s an interesting strategy. Daimler certainly seems to be taking the changes coming over the next few decades into account more than most of its fellow German auto manufacturers.