Alongside zero emissions and automation, digitalisation is one of the most important trends in the commercial vehicle sector. That’s why this topic is taking a central position in the MAN corporate strategy. After all, the benefits of digital services are obvious: they make fleet management for trucks and buses more efficient than ever before. They also make it possible to perfectly coordinate operating times, routes and maintenance. All this reduces operating costs for our customers.
As a “Smart Innovator”, MAN is working intensively on connected vehicles – with international teams in locations such as Munich, Lisbon, and Pune (India). What’s more, digital solutions are already a reality: MAN DigitalServices support fleet operators with their day-to-day challenges. They make the use of MAN vehicles even more cost-efficient, environmentally friendly, safe and comfortable. We want to continue on this road – and provide our customers with optimal support with ever better bespoke digital solutions.
The MAN Trucks E/E Architecture uses one central control unit It is already setting the benchmark for digitalisation and will form the basis for all future vehicle generations. In most cars and trucks, software functions are distributed between dozens of tiny computers, or “control units”, which communicate with each other over the CAN-bus (Controller Area Network). In contrast, MAN is relying on a central E/E architecture in its new generation of vehicles. Almost all the functions of a truck run on one single computer, the “Central Vehicle Manager” (CVM). This has high-performance hardware, and the MAN OS 2.0 real-time operating system ensures that time-critical functions are guaranteed to run fast enough.
In addition to the truck’s onboard processing power, its network connection to the fleet operator is becoming ever more important. Current information on the location or condition of the vehicle is as essential to logistics today as the ability to update existing functions or install additional features in the truck – preferably over the air using a mobile interface. Consistent digitalisation means that by the end of this development process, the truck will be barely recognisable as such. In ten years, the human-controlled truck will have evolved into a fully autonomous data centre on wheels, enabling completely new business models.
We already offer a wealth of MAN DigitalServices in the following categories: vehicle location, maintenance and repair management, tachograph and time management, driver support, cost-efficient driving, over-the-air software upgrades, and charging and battery management. They ensure time and cost-efficient fleet management for MAN customers. Our DigitalServices can even transform a truck into a wallet on wheels, making payments easier – another step towards the digitally connected commercial vehicle of the future that uses intelligent solutions to provide its user with the best possible support for their day-to-day work. And that’s only the beginning.
Fleet operators can enjoy these five benefits when they digitalise their vehicles and processes.
Connected trucks improve transport time and cost-efficiency – every minute counts in the freight industry. Production parts must be delivered precisely in time for the next stage of the work. Any delay can bring the supply chain to a standstill. Digital services can be used to simplify repetitive and time-consuming tasks, leaving transport company staff with more time for their core duties.
Digitalisation makes the driver’s job easier: digital add-on programs enable the driver to concentrate on driving safely and efficiently. This saves time, makes the working day more pleasant and helps to improve the driver’s loyalty to their employer. And whenever support is needed urgently, the MAN DriverApp can help, for example to call for help in the event of a breakdown or to report damage.
Connecting makes managing maintenance easier. In the past, the fleet manager’s overview of the condition of their vehicles ended the moment they left the company’s premises. Once the truck was out on the road, only the driver could tell whether it was low on oil, whether the brakes were worn, or the tyre pressure was too low. Data-based remote diagnosis allows technical problems to be reported directly, so that service teams can react immediately.
Connected trucks are open to technological innovations and new features – and for good reason: fewer and fewer drivers are expected to transport more and more goods, faster and faster. At the same time, technological developments are fundamentally changing the industry. These days, trucks need to be future-proof and ready to be fitted out for the demands of the future without any complications. The new E/E architecture ensures that connected trucks are open to new functions and updates.
Digitalisation leads to simpler, faster processes. Customers can also reap the benefits: “New Work”, or agile thinking, workflows and communication processes, enables ideas to be tested more quickly, leading to solutions that are more closely oriented towards the needs of real people. This entails involving customers in the development process at an early stage and enabling them to give their feedback on new products and services. The result is a team effort by customers and suppliers, just like the development of the new generation of MAN trucks.
Digitalisation is in full swing - here are some figures on the subject.
of all commercial vehicles will be connected by 2030.
that’s the amount of data that trucks in the future could transmit to the cloud each day. Today, that figure is just 50 megabytes.
or thereabouts, run on the Central Vehicle Manager in MAN trucks.
are fitted with a RIO box, ready for connecting.