Digitisation in the automotive sector is one of the key enablers for future technologies and improved service offers. With the bundling of digital services on the Omniplus On platform, an integrated basis for further innovations was created. Now Daimler Buses is going one step further and with the extended, virtual data interface it is creating the prerequisites for the vehicle data in the Daimler cloud to be used also for third parties' applications via a defined API ("Application Programming Interface").
This also includes fault codes and diagnostics logs – a big advantage for the staff responsible for customer maintenance. From the first quarter of 2020, the Omniplus On portal, the On commerce section, will be available additionally from the Omniplus On SignalStore for a monthly fee with three different data packages. With these, vehicle data is also available for third party applications. The prerequisite for this is installation of the Bus Data Center, which will be installed in all touring coaches and the all-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro as standard and in other urban buses as an option. The number and availability of the data points depends on the vehicle equipment.
The data packages are available for the first time via a "remote" data interface, i.e. without a physical connector coupling – which makes it easier for the customer to network vehicles conveniently and simply. There are either "Secure Web Sockets" (WSS), via which the data can be transferred in real time, or historical data, which can be called up for the last 14 days via a standardised REST interface. This twin-track approach makes it possible to use highly integrated real-time services, as required in ITS systems for support with operation control, depot management and route planning. Particularly when the operator uses their own adapted control or management system and to call up Omniplus services such as "Diagnostics" even without the Omniplus On portal. The new interface provides the required data in a defined form, which van be processed by customers' systems. The operator can thus take advantage of many of Omniplus ON's digital services without fundamentally changing its established IT landscape.
For instance, at ESWE Wiesbaden, which placed one of the biggest orders for electric buses in Europe in early 2019 and received the first buses mid-November, the advanced IVU Traffic Technologies systems are being incorporated within the framework of Daimler Buses' general contractor position. In principle it is possible to incorporate the vehicle data from SignalStore into all third-party systems so that customer benefit can be specifically optimised.
Premium data security
The security of customer data has top priority for all Omniplus On digital services. Several firewalls secure the data in the cloud and safeguard the systems' backend against unauthorised access by third parties. It goes without saying that all data is stored on European Daimler servers and are subject to the European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The user can rely on the utmost level of security.
New functionalities bring clear added value
Then significantly more data points will be available in addition to the familiar FMS 4.0 Standard ("Fleet Management System Standard"), which has been standard in all Mercedes‑Benz and Setra buses since the production date of July 2019. Depending on the customer's individual requirements, these data points can be analysed in order to generate new services, which can come about, for example, from linking this customer data with ITS and other systems that are already being used by customers.
In the first quarter of 2020, Daimler will be providing three highly developed services in the form of Omniplus On SignalStore in the Omniplus On portal, which can be booked individually for every vehicle on a monthly basis:
- Data Package "rFMS" with about 250 data points in the categories warning displays, drivetrain, doors and flaps, vehicle information, suspension and wheels plus vehicle battery and operating materials. The advantage for the customer here is above all efficient fleet management for conventionally driven vehicles.
- Data Package "plus" with about 250 additional data points on FMS 4.0, including high-voltage systems, heating/ventilation/climate control, and extended GPS data. The advantage for the customer here is efficient fleet management and implementation of charging strategies for electrically driven vehicles.
- Data Package "diagnostic", which provides various diagnostic data at the remote interface, as well as quick tests in a machine-readable format and as a PDF document, which could previously only be read out via the Daimler "Xentry Diagnosis". This enables the customer to gain optimum transparency about service and maintenance requirements and can therefore accelerate ad hoc error correction.
With these new data packages, Omniplus On is opening up a new horizon of possibilities regarding digitisation, which not only significantly increase the operational safety and reliability of a company's fleet, but also facilitate new business models and networking with standardised control software from other providers. This sees Daimler Buses taking a ground-breaking step into the digital future of service.