Scania has declared that  there are now more than 500,000 of its connected vehicles operating world-wide and more than 7,000 criss-crossing Australia continuously sharing data for analysis.

Scania said that its data collection is more than just a fleet management tool, delivering a powerful competitive advantage to its customers when they are negotiating for new business.

The company says that it took the lead ten years ago, by introducing a communication device as standard in all its vehicles, enabling customers to achieve improved uptime, performance and efficiency across their operations, and for Scania to collect scientific data about product use as well as analysing logistics patterns.

Scania’s Lead Product Manager for Fleet Management Services, Venugopal Gangaiah, said the importance of having large numbers of vehicles connected cannot be over-stated, and considers this to be an important milestone for Scania.

“It is vital in our journey towards becoming a sustainable end-to-end solution provider of transport,” Venugopal said.

“Scania wouldn’t be where it is today in terms of knowledge about products and customer behaviour, without the first vehicle being connected some 20 years ago making this possible.

“The Scania Fleet Management Portal and later launching our own communicator in 2009 were also strategically important milestones – not to mention recognition through the various telematics awards collected by Scania over the last decade.”

In Australia, Scania has been promoting its Fleet Management Services for several years.

“Scania customers who monitor the data produced by their vehicles and drivers have a far clearer understanding about how their assets are being used and with what degree of efficiency and productivity,” said Richard Bain, Scania Australia’s Services Portfolio Manager.

“The data generated and analysed by the Fleet Management System really gives them a bird’s-eye view of their costs and highlights where money is being wasted or where they can make changes to improve their total operating economy.

“Drawing on the global data relating to usage, speed, loading and driver behaviour, Scania is better able to predict service needs and suggest preventative maintenance plans in order to ensure the operators benefit from, and achieve, the highest possible uptime,” Richard said.

“We have had very high levels of uptake of the Scania Fleet Management Packages in Australia, especially since the debut of the New Truck Generation range in 2018, because our customers really understand the power of the data to influence their running costs.”

Scania cites an example of  a customer leveraging the data analysis provided through the Fleet Management Portal with global logistics company, Mondiale VGL, currently operating 78 Scania prime movers in Australia.

Mondiale VGL’s national fleet and maintenance \manager, Rory Gerhardt, said that  the company benefits in many ways from the data collected and presented.

“We supply our customers with accurate fuel efficiency and emissions data, to help them strengthen their own green footprint position,” he said.

“Not only does the Scania Fleet Management Portal tell us where our trucks are, how they are being driven and when they are due for service, but we’re able to measure their environmental performance, something which is already growing in importance for us when we bid for new work,” he said.

“Our customers’ customers want to know that all along the chain, suppliers are taking an active interest in reducing their emissions or environmental footprint. The Scania Fleet Management System provides us with visibility of this data,” Rory said.

Scania reached the 100,000 connected trucks and buses milestone globally in 2014, and the numbers have risen at a rate of close to 60,000 annually to pass 500,000 recently. Since 2019, Scania says it has also offered this vital connectivity feature to users of its industrial and marine engines.

Although all new vehicles leave the factory equipped with a communicating device, customers have to sign a contract before Scania can process their vehicle data, and then access commercial service packages at various levels to see the data.

The entry level is the Monitoring Package, where customers receive e-mails on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis, showing basic vehicle performance and consumption.

Most popular of the more advanced service packs is the Control Package, supplying access to the Fleet Management Portal (FMP) and the Fleet App. It gives more detailed information about efficiency, productivity, safety and environmental impact of the business, not possible some years back. The information from more than 90 data parameters are not enough in themselves though. Fleet owners need to make use of this intel through Scania, to really leverage the benefits.

Customers can currently monitor their vehicles based on engine or fuel use. With increasing electrification of heavy transport, further milestones are on the horizon. Upgraded hardware and software will also make tracking of battery electric vehicles’ (BEV) performance possible.

“The existing Scania Communicator will be upgraded soon, enabling quicker and more advanced data collection and analysis,” Venugopal said.

“This will result in even more modular and tailored services and is a prerequisite for reaching our science-based targets (SBTi). Emissions data reveal tank-to-wheel facts by default today in the Fleet Portal, but soon it will also be possible to view the well-to-wheel figures, another milestone to look forward to.”