Omniplus On: the correct data at any time for maximum reliability and transparency

Dec 4, 2019
Stuttgart / Neu-Ulm
  • Omniplus On: digital services - four pillars for maximum availability, fleet management, driver support and spare parts procurement
  • For the first time on the bus market: new online vehicle data interface offers the opportunity to link to external systems

A perfect, customised service for all buses of the Mercedes-Benz and Setra brands: this has long been the promise of Omniplus, the service brand of Daimler Buses. With more than 600 service centres in Europe, Omniplus offers a unique Europe-wide and bus-specific service network. Innovative services are continually being added; an increasing number of which can be placed in the digital realm. The new Omniplus On portal integrates existing and new digital services. Customers of the current model variants of the Mercedes‑Benz Citaro, eCitaro and CapaCity, the current Mercedes‑Benz Tourismo and all Setra touring coaches from the ComfortClass 500 and TopClass 500 model series currently already benefit from Omniplus On. From this year, all of these buses have been equipped as standard with the "Bus Data Center" telematics box. All the services can be booked online and on a monthly basis for individual vehicles. Of course, customised fleet tariffs are also on offer which make it easier for companies to equip all of the buses they require with the digital Omniplus services at a favourable price.

Omniplus On: four online pillars for maximum availability, fleet management and spare parts procurement

As part of the current update, the digital service portal Omniplus On is based on four integrated pillars which are optimally networked with each other and have each been optimised for a target group:

  • "Omniplus On advance" ensures that bus companies enjoy maximum availability of their fleet, for example thanks to the Omniplus Uptime service, or optimum service transparency with their own service routines which can be set up individually for each bus.
  •  "Omniplus On monitor" combines modern telematics services for efficient, cross-manufacturer fleet management and helps to assess the driving style of the individual drivers according to efficiency and safety.
  •  "Omniplus On drive" efficiently assists the driver, from the prescribed daily departure checks to remote control of individual components on the bus.
  •  "Omniplus On commerce" enables bus companies to purchase spare and replacement parts as well as book digital services in the new Omniplus eShop quickly and in a targeted manner at any time.

Omniplus On advance: Omniplus Uptime keeps the fleet on the road

Only a bus that functions perfectly and without fault can optimally complete the tasks involved in passenger transportation. This ideal state of affairs for the entrepreneur is secured by the Omniplus Uptime service, which always proactively thinks ahead, as it were – with digital intelligence. Uptime is the key service in the "Omniplus advance" section, which will successively offer other advanced services. Omniplus Uptime creates transparency about the technical condition of the fleet, ensures maximum planning security, prevents unwanted downtime and thus overall ensures significantly increased vehicle availability.

The data is continually analysed and proactively interpreted on a Daimler server in Europe. If an acute need for repair or maintenance work becomes apparent, the information is automatically transmitted to the bus company in one of four appropriately visual escalation stages and, depending on the urgency, also transmitted to the authorised service centre.

If there should nevertheless ever be a risk of downtime as a result of an acute technical malfunction, the customer is contacted by the Omniplus 24h Service in a timely manner and also appropriately informed via the Omniplus On portal. Associated with that there are specific qualified recommendations for action. If required, Omniplus can search for a workshop and organise the repair work.

Omniplus On monitor: modern telematics services for extensive fleet management

Omniplus On monitor is the daily tool for fleet managers who wish to keep a constant eye on their vehicle and driver data, which increases efficiency considerably. A new feature is a remote interface for the vehicle data, which for the first time is not physically in the vehicle, but virtually implemented as an API interface ("Application Programming Interface") in the "backend" of the Daimler data cloud.

Individual services provide an overview of the fleet

Free basic services already provide fleet managers with numerous items of useful information, ensuring maximum transparency within the vehicle fleet. These services identify, for example, the potential the bus fleet has for saving fuel, using the current consumption figures and driving styles or the tracking services which show the fleet's location in real time.

Dual assessment of the driver's style of driving

With the dual driving style assessment, fleet managers can look over their drivers' shoulders discreetly and effectively, regardless of the bus brand. This serves to provide a realistic basis for analysis with an aim to reduce both fuel consumption and wear on the vehicle, as well as to increase the safety of passengers on board. The driving style assessment analyses the individual driving style with regard to an efficient (Eco Score) and safe (Safety Score) driving style and indicates the potential need for training. Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses, for the first time the Safety Score is being offered, evaluating important parameters for a safe driving style, which is crucial when transporting passengers.

Tracking services

The fee-based location services ensure complete transparency about the position of the fleet's vehicles. These services allow the location and the previously covered route of all buses to be called up at any time. The locating intervals are very tightly scheduled at two seconds specifically for buses, enabling current monitoring of the buses at all times. With the aid of geofence geographical vehicle monitoring, businesses can control and monitor the entry into and departure from pre-defined geographical zones, and thus inform personnel responsible for maintenance and cleaning, for example, as the bus approaches the depot.

Operations planning

Operations planning provides businesses with an online route planner which has everything to offer that a bus company or dispatchers need in their daily planning activities. On the other side of the portal, in the driver-related section On drive, this data is also clearly displayed on various mobile end devices.

Time management

During every operation with the driver card, companies benefit from progressive "Time management". With the driver card download and mass storage download of the digital tachographs, businesses can call up data directly from a vehicle, irrespective of its current location. Current driving and rest times are also visible here.

Performance monitoring of vehicles and fleet

For entry into the innovative world of telematics at Daimler Buses, Omniplus On offers a free service bundle at fleet level under the designation "Performance Monitoring". Besides consumption data for conventionally-powered buses, this bundle also includes values about the charging status or the remaining range of the new fully-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro. In the next development phase the necessary climate preconditioning, an important component for optimising range, can be implemented.

The legally prescribed departure check and individual checks can be individually set up and managed with the aid of the "Status of vehicle checks" feature.

Omniplus On drive: mobile control centre for the driver

Omniplus On keeps an eye on businesses, fleet managers and drivers alike, and this becomes really clear in Omniplus On drive. In this module, numerous functions specifically support the driver with regard to required information and communication options. Fundamental vehicle parameters can be viewed in the "My Bus" web app, which is fully integrated into the portal, and can be operated anywhere via the internet and with all end devices. As a result the connection is no longer dependent on the vehicle's own Wi-Fi, which was previously the case. This is advantageous when the driver can begin checking the vehicle systems from the hotel, for example.

The easy-to-read parameters encompass, for example, the pressure of every single tyre, diesel and AdBlue fill levels, axle loads and a check of the exterior lighting and the door/flap status. The driver can call up this data on the smartphone in a clear, digital "Driver Dashboard" in the portal, which is restricted to the main functions and can be optimally set as the standard screen on the device. A "silent emergency call" will also soon be offered here, with which the driver will be able to inform headquarters without the passengers noticing and becoming unnecessarily worried. In the Dashboard, technical downtime can also be reported to headquarters at any time.

As part of a second development stage, active control functions will also be available in Omniplus On drive: it will then be possible to control the heating, ventilation and the interior lighting even from the hotel or also by the dispatcher at headquarters. The bus will then be optimally preconditioned at all times. And thus a level of digitisation, which is now almost a matter of course in passenger cars, is being introduced to buses.

Vehicle condition at a glance

Necessary information for the driver – available at any time: proof of maintenance, interactive digital Operating Instructions ("Bus Guides") and Supplements from Mercedes‑Benz and Setra buses can be called up in the "Vehicle technology" section of Omniplus On drive. Alongside the standardised maintenance documents, individual documents can also be stored here as a pdf file.

As part of the departure check, Omniplus On drive guides the bus driver through the legally prescribed tests using a checklist. This means that each point has to be documented and worked through. The driver can note down problems or damage and take a photo of them before sending these together with the log back to the company. The era of lost memos and forgotten calls or maintenance work is thus finally a thing of the past, and workflow for vehicle repairs and maintenance is being digitised and thus optimised.

Operations planning and info always to hand

In the "MyTrip" section of Omniplus On drive, drivers are shown their individual operations directly, planned in detail by the dispatcher in On monitor. They actively accept them here; they are guided from point to point and are also shown the route on their Dashboard in the Web App. It goes without saying that the legal driving and rest times are also taken into account and clearly displayed on the route shown.

Omniplus On commerce: the online sales platform for all aspects of the bus

The Omniplus OnlineParts Shop was always a pioneer in the industry and helped customers to order spare parts fast and conveniently. This is being replaced by the Omniplus eShop and is available in the "On commerce" section in the Omniplus On portal. Just like the portal as a whole, it will be possible to use the eShop from any mobile end device.

The new Omniplus eShop offers the entire range of parts for the Mercedes-Benz and Setra brands. As the system is fully incorporated into the Omniplus On customer portal, it already knows the orderer's individual fleet: the correct parts for the vehicle selected are shown to the orderer in the Quick Collect section and can simply be confirmed. This saves a lot of search work by both customers and service staff.

During the ordering process the user can see directly whether the spare parts are in stock in the required quantity at the service centre or need to be ordered directly from the Spare Parts Logistics Centre (ELC) in Neu-Ulm. The Omniplus eShop can now also be operated via a smartphone or tablet.

Since the end of November 2019, the eShop has not only been available to end customers but also dealers. The focus of the dealer shop is on orders for large numbers of parts from EvoBus GmbH in particular.

Omniplus On commerce also offers much more than the right part at the right time. It is possible to directly book digital services such as Omniplus Uptime online. In future further products and services will be bookable via On commerce.