Daimler Buses is consolidating its digital service activities under "Omniplus On" and starting preventive maintenance

Oct 19, 2017
Stuttgart / Kortrijk
  • Wide variety of services, easy access via a central portal
  • Service innovation Omniplus Uptime: when the service thinks ahead
  • Basic services ensure transparent fleet operation
  • Remote Bus: monitoring of vehicle functions
  • Bus Guides: mobile access to operating instructions
  • The new Driver’s App supports the driver and operator
  • Fleetboard: comprehensive telematics services for bus operators

Networking the vehicle, driver and operator to generate added value – that is "Omniplus On". This is where a wide variety of current and future, bus-related digital services are being consolidated in a single portal. From 2018, bus operators will have a wide range of information that supports them in efficient fleet operations.

Omniplus On integrates existing services such as Fleetboard and new service packages such as Omniplus Uptime. Even the free basic services create transparency about important fleet data. Omniplus On Uptime is revolutionary: This service permanently monitors and checks the vehicle systems. The Driver’s App supports the driver and operator during the prescribed pre-departure check and with communication, while Remote Bus makes important data available. We provide orientation in the wealth of possibilities that digitisation opens up for bus operators. The range of digital services is being continuously expanded.

Wide variety of services, easy access via a central portal

Omniplus is accelerating the digitisation process with Omniplus On while also expanding its wide range of services. Omniplus On integrates all digital services and consolidates them in a clearly structured way. Bus operators have personalised access to all the services they have subscribed to via just one portal. The initial focus is on services that are directly related to bus operations, from the pre-departure check to telematic services and the permanent monitoring of major vehicle systems while en route, i.e. predictive maintenance.

The new electrics/electronics platform B2E is a technical requirement for the use of Omniplus On in a bus. Omniplus On is therefore available for the current model variants of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro/CapaCity and the new Mercedes-Benz Tourismo, as well as for all Setra touring coaches in the ComfortClass 500 and TopClass 500 series. At the beginning of 2018 all these buses will be equipped with the "Fleetboard Bus Data Center" telematics box as standard. It serves as the transfer unit for the host of data.

Service innovation Omniplus Uptime: when the service thinks ahead

One year ago, with the optimised 24h service including telediagnosis, Omniplus took the first major step into the digital future of service: in the event of a sudden breakdown, one touch of a button is all it takes to send helpful diagnostic data to the nearest service outlet. Now Omniplus is showing new possibilities in networking with the unique predictive service Omniplus Uptime. Omniplus Uptime creates transparency about the technical condition of the fleet and planning certainty concerning downtime in the workshop, prevents breakdowns and leads to an overall improvement in vehicle availability.

Omniplus Uptime monitors the status of the vehicle systems in real time. This includes all the technical features equipped with sensors whose information is available in the CAN data bus system. All in all, Omniplus Uptime monitors around 30 components and functions, including doors, engine management and exhaust aftertreatment.

The data are continously analysed and interpreted on a specially secured Daimler server. The evaluations are based on bus-specific algorithms developed from the long years of experience of bus experts. If the need for repairs or maintenance becomes apparent, a message is automatically sent to the bus operator, and depending on urgency, also to the authorised service outlet. This allows bundling required repairs with the maintenance, and scheduling them on a specific date.

If acute problems occur that could lead to a breakdown, the bus operator receives a call from the Omniplus 24h Service within minutes, and is also informed via the Omniplus On portal. This already includes concrete and qualified recommended actions. If needed, Omniplus finds the suitable workshop and organises the repair. This can prevent unplanned stops and limit urgent workshop visits to a minimum.

Moreover, Omniplus Uptime also reveals inattentiveness during a vehicle's operation, e.g. failure to perform a particulate filter regeneration or a constantly inadequate tyre pressure. These could lead to increased costs and wear, and cause a breakdown. The company receives information to this effect in these cases as well. Omniplus Uptime will be available from the third quarter of 2018.

Basic services ensure transparent fleet operation

A free basic service already provides operators with a great deal of useful information, ensuring transparent fleet operations. For example, the service indicates the fuel saving potential of the fleet using current fuel consumption figures and driving styles, the mileage of the bus fleet and the current locations of the buses in the fleet. The information can be viewed in the Omniplus On portal, both in desktop as mobile device compatible versions. This means that bus operators also have the basic data for their fleet available outside the workplace.

Remote Bus: monitoring of vehicle functions

Major vehicle functions are also monitored by Remote Bus. This includes the tyre pressure of each wheel, diesel and AdBlue levels, the locking status of the luggage compartment flaps and monitoring all the exterior lights for all touring coaches. From spring 2018, the driver will be able to access these values on the bus via WLAN using a smartphone, e.g. after taking a break.

Bus Guides: mobile access to operating instructions

Servicing guidelines, operating instructions and additional information about Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses can be accessed via a mobile device compatible website with immediate effect. Bus Guides is continuously updated, so that up-to-date information is always clearly available.

The new Driver’s App supports the driver and operator

Omniplus On looks out for both the operator and the driver, as the new Driver’s App shows. This supports the driver during day-to-day duties, e.g. the pre-departure check.

During this check the driver must verify all the vehicle's major functions, such as the lighting, the operating fluid levels and the completeness of onboard equipment. The new Driver’s App from Omniplus On assists the driver by providing a checklist covering the entire check-up. Every single item is documented. The driver can record shortcomings in writing and by photo, and send the information to the operator by mouse-click together with the check-up report. The operator therefore has evidence that the pre-departure check has been correctly carried out. This also means that steps can be taken to remedy any faults.

Operators can also make additions to the checklist beyond the legal requirements – for example covering the functioning of the refrigerator, kitchen or vehicle cleaning. Drivers can also use the Driver’s App to document any damage occurring on a tour. These reports are stored, and can be viewed and processed by the operator in the Omniplus On portal.

Conversely, the operator can also give drivers specific information via the Driver’s App. For example if the itinerary of the current tour should change. The operator can also pass on general information, ensuring that currently absent drivers are also kept informed.The market maturity of the Driver’s App is planned for next year.

Fleetboard: Comprehensive telematic services for bus operators

To provide customers with a central point of contact for digital services, Omniplus On also integrates the numerous telematic services of Fleetboard. Transparency about the driving style is provided by the "Operating Analysis", which enables the operator to "look over the driver's shoulder". It serves as a realistic assessment basis for reducing fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and vehicle wear. The Operating Analysis evaluates the individual driving style, thereby indicating any further training requirement.

"Tour recording" makes data related to daily operations transparent, e.g. driving and stopping times, or use of the air conditioner. It also gives information about opened doors and operation of the wheelchair ramp. Tour recording therefore provides valuable information for contact with customers or in case of complaints – an important point especially in regular service operations.

Fleetboard "Service" evaluates key operating data. These include the odometer reading or warning messages and alerts. Data covering vehicle cleaning or tyre replacement can also be entered. Service therefore acts as an assistant for possible maintenance requirements.

The Fleetboard service "Mapping" ensures full transparency about the locations of the vehicles in the fleet, as it enables the location and route of all the buses to be accessed at any time. Using a digital road map, not only the location but also detailed tracking at 30-second intervals can be called up.

Operators in the touring sector benefit from this "time management". This service facilitates the legally mandated read-out and archiving of driver cards. With the drivercard download and the mass storage download of the digital tachograph, bus operators can read the data directly in the vehicle and while on the move, wherever its location. The current status of driving and resting times is also visible.

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