Stuttgart – Daimler FleetBoard is the first supplier of telematics solutions to offer a fleet management and driving analysis app for the Apple iPhone and iPad. Operators can use it to control their fleet of buses or coaches at any time and from any location. The trip recorder also makes it possible to display the most recent journey made. The app enables operators to monitor how their vehicles are being used, their drivers' working hours, the fuel consumption of their buses and coaches and the drivers' driving style. It is even possible to show the status of doors and loading ramps. To use the FleetBoard app it is necessary to have a vehicle equipped with FleetBoard, with a FleetBoard service contract. The new FleetBoard app is available for a limited period free of charge from the App Store. The app has already been available for some time now for trucks and vans.
Until now, the telematics system for buses has been known as Omniplus BusFleet. The bus-specific telematics system for rural-service buses, touring coaches and urban buses from telematics provider Daimler FleetBoard GmbH has been available and undergoing further development for some weeks now. Trust is important but, as fleet operators know, transparency is even better - and an indispensable factor if a company is to operate economically and efficiently. The bus-specific FleetBoard fleet management system provides effective support here. Fleet operators are able to take advantage of the FleetBoard app for buses, even if they are out and about themselves.
The FleetBoard system can be fitted ex factory in any fully equipped Mercedes-Benz and Setra bus or coach, or – as also in the case of buses and coaches made by other manufacturers – retrofitted. Several bus and coach companies are already working successfully with FleetBoard and making extensive use of the bus telematics system in their daily operations. "We have more than ten years' experience of working with commercial vehicle fleets. Especially when diesel fuel prices are high, our customers also appreciate the way in which FleetBoard can help make significant reductions in fuel consumption" commented Markus Lipinsky, Managing Director of Daimler FleetBoard GmbH.
Mapping: keeping tabs on buses around the world at all times
The fleet manager can locate the current whereabouts of a vehicle on a digital map that can be called up on any computer with internet access, or track its route at 30-second intervals. It is possible to switch between map and satellite views or to select a combination of both. Mapping can also be used to show important occurrences during the course of the trip, or to display warning and status messages. A geofencing function makes it possible to define specific areas where entry and exit are monitored: as well as providing resource planning information on both the bus and the driver, this is also a significant security feature in the event that the vehicle should be stolen.
Driver analysis: evaluation of driving style and realisation of potential savings
FleetBoard can help a company to optimise its economic efficiency, as the right driving style can reduce both fuel consumption and wear and tear by up to 10%. FleetBoard interprets driver and vehicle-related data, taking the assessment of driving style and the complexity of the route into consideration in the process. The underlying data relating to vehicle speeds, engine speeds, hard braking and other such information provide an objective basis for conclusions about the way the bus or coach is being handled. Such monitoring also provides feedback for the driver as to what measures he can take to improve his driving style and, ultimately and most importantly, to become a safer driver. Internal investigations by Daimler have shown that improving driving style to a score of 9.0 or more can reduce accident rates by up to 90%.
Trip recording: transparency in everyday operations
The data thus accumulated makes it possible to ascertain precisely the times and places at which the bus has been stationary or on the move. The company can get reliable information about whether the doors were open or closed at any particular point. This information can then be used, for example, to deal with customer issues by establishing whether a specific bus was on time and available for boarding at a given stop. Similarly, bus operators are able to produce data showing the use of the access ramp by passengers with restricted mobility.
The driver is able to use preset message buttons to send standardised messages back to the bus depot. In return, the company can also send messages to the display in the bus's instrument cluster.
Time Management: automatic capture and archiving of tachograph data
The time management function facilitates optimum planning of working hours on the basis of drivers' rest periods and remaining driving time. All relevant data can then be transferred automatically into a payroll system. With FleetBoard, the download of driver card data from the bus that is a required by law can be undertaken regardless of the time of day or the location of the vehicle. FleetBoard also allows the remote transfer of mass storage data from the digital tachograph on board the bus. Particularly in cases where a bus is away from its base for longer periods, this can bring significant savings in terms of both time and costs.
Service: evaluation of operating data and optimised maintenance scheduling
All key bus operating data, such as mileage or tank fill level, are displayed via FleetBoard. The system will also send selected warning messages from the vehicle, so allowing any necessary repairs to be made in a prompt and targeted fashion. Further messages transmitted by the vehicle allow evaluation of factors such as retarder use, or how long auxiliary heating systems or air conditioning are being kept on for. This in turn allows conclusions to be drawn about the condition of the vehicle and thus of its economic efficiency and the level of comfort provided. FleetBoard allows fleet operators to plan efficiently for any services that are due, or any time-consuming vehicle checks that need to be made.
The vehicle data are recorded via a standardised FMS interface in the bus and stored in the FleetBoard on-board computer before being transmitted. The transfer of data takes place via GPRS to a central FleetBoard server. Registered FleetBoard users have secure access via the internet to the bus client containing all the data and evaluation results.
Daimler FleetBoard GmbH is one of Europe's leading companies in the field of vehicle telematics systems. Systems and services are designed for use by fleet managers, logistics managers and drivers of truck, bus and van fleets of all makes and spanning all sectors of industry. FleetBoard has a proven reputation of many years' standing as a fleet management system that offers improved economic efficiency and transparency. It provides user-friendly technology that assists drivers in their daily work. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, based in Stuttgart, Germany, the company has been tested and certified by DEKRA in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9000:2008.