Daimler establishes group focused on developing connectivity solutions

Freightliner truck on highway

As commercial vehicles and their associated systems go deeper into a connected world, the need to manage that overall connectivity in a thorough and cohesive way becomes more important. Daimler Trucks AG, parent company of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), has recognized that fact and is responding by creating the Connectivity Services Group (CSG).

CSG will be based at DTNA’s headquarters in Portland, Oregon, and led by Sanjiv Khurana, currently head of digital vehicle solutions at DTNA.

“Connectivity has proven to be a huge asset to improving our customers’ profitability around the world,” Khurana said in a statement. “Daimler has led the industry in developing these solutions and the formation of CSG positions us to continue to help our customers maximize the profitability that can be achieved through data-driven insights.”

CSG will focus on developing “end-to-end digital architecture,” which includes in-vehicle software, cloud platforms and digital solutions. Its solutions will be adapted for Daimler’s worldwide vehicle portfolio, which includes Freightliner and Western Star trucks and Thomas Built Buses in North America, and global brands Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Fuso Trucks and BharatBenz Trucks.

Daimler has been developing connected solutions for several years with Detroit Connect, Truckonnect, Mercedes-Benz Uptime, Fleetboard and Omniplus ON part of those efforts. CSG will help usher in the next generation of solutions while incorporating third-party in-vehicle and Internet of Things technology providers into these solutions.

“Connectivity has already transformed trucking and logistics, but Daimler is committed to pushing the technology even further,” Khurana said. “Our team will drive in-house innovation and deployment faster than ever, seek out and build upon industry relationships and turn the knowledge gained from data into actionable insights to directly benefit vehicle operations, fleet productivity and the driver experience.”

“Daimler has led the industry in developing these solutions and the formation of CSG positions us to continue to help our customers maximize the profitability that can be achieved through data-driven insights.”

– Sanjiv Khurana, who will lead Daimler’s Connectivity Services Group

Earlier this year, DTNA announced it would include Platform Science’s Mobile Device Management solution, Remote Platform Management (RPM), in its vehicles at the factory level. RPM allows vehicle users and owners to use their preferred technology solutions without the need to install new hardware and wiring each time.

“Our partnership with Platform Science will bring a groundbreaking connectivity experience to our customers,” Khurana told FreightWaves at the time. “By leveraging Platform Science’s transportation-specific Remote Platform Management, customers will be able to choose the solutions to fit their mixed fleet needs and seamlessly integrate those solutions into their trucks.”

Schneider National (NYSE: SNDR), a Freightliner and Platform Science customer, has used the Platform Science solution to develop its own customized technologies for its drivers.

“It’s a huge accelerator. It’s an accelerator on which you can ramp up the speed to value,” Shaleen Devgun, chief information officer for Schneider, said. “The speed to value [is critical] in an agile world where customers are demanding instant gratification.”

Khurana said the decision to install the Platform Science platform at the factory was not made lightly.

“DTNA executes a thorough market and product analysis to select connectivity hardware and software partners,” he said. “This includes commercial vehicle technology evaluation, lead technology, strategic company fit and firsthand customer feedback.”

Now, Khurana, as head of CSG, will be able to expand on this approach with Platform Science and build a more expansive, connected vehicle experience for Daimler customers worldwide. He will oversee international teams dedicated to designing the solutions of tomorrow.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Brian Straight.

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