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Daimler Trucks pushing forward with platform strategy for chassis and electrics/electronics

Daimler Trucks is systematically expanding its strategic pillars of intelligent platforms and modules beyond the existing modular drivetrain components. The platforms for drivetrain components for medium- and heavy-duty engines and for automated transmissions are already successful in the market, and account for about 50% of a truck’s value added.

Daimler Trucks is now introducing multi-brand platforms for other truck module groups, including uniform electrics/electronics architecture (E/E), chassis and cab. Joint development and purchasing will be carried out wherever there is no impact on customer perception and brand differentiation.

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.

—Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Daimler Trucks & Buses

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 more quickly. 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.

The module constantly receives data from all of the sensors and cameras 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. The device communicates in realtime via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 4G, GPS or USB with the infrastructure, other vehicles and other players involved in the logistics process.

In the future, the module will constitute the hardware for the existing connectivity solutions of Daimler Trucks: the telematics systems of FleetBoard and Detroit Connect. The hardware allows a completely open system; it can be installed in vehicles that are not produced by Daimler.

Daimler Trucks will integrate its trucks into the Cloud in 2017, when heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz trucks will be delivered in Europe with the module as standard equipment; other markets will follow soon afterwards, as well as other high-volume vehicles of the Daimler Trucks brands. In the mid-term, the medium-duty trucks of Daimler Trucks will also be fitted with the uniform components.

Further evidence of the systematic implementation of the platform strategy at Daimler Trucks and of the advantages of a uniform E/E architecture is a uniform, multi-brand module for the instrument cluster in the truck cab.

While the instrument cluster with speedometer, rev counter, fuel gauge etc. retains the brand-typical appearance of a heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner or Fuso truck, its inner workings and rear housing will have standardized dimensions and connections.


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