Daimler FleetBoard makes commercial vehicles more economical

Cost savings, logistics optimisation and environmental protection with IBM technology

Published on 02-Aug-2012

"With this technology base we are well prepared to increase the economic efficiency of our customers and to support them in making sound decisions in their day-to-day business." - Dr. Christian Ballarin, Director Development and Operations, Daimler FleetBoard GmbH

Daimler FleetBoard GmbH

Automotive, Industrial Products

Deployment country:

BA - Business Analytics, BA - Business Intelligence, Big Data & Analytics, Big Data & Analytics: Operations/Fraud/Threats, Smarter Computing, Smarter Planet, Transformational Account

Smarter Planet:
Smarter Transportation


Daimler FleetBoard GmbH was established in 2003 as a 100-percent subsidiary of Daimler AG, and benefits from Daimler’s many years of experience in the truck industry and information technology know-how. More than 200 employees develop and sell future-proof solutions to meet the everyday needs of transport and logistics companies.

Business need:
To help logistics companies optimise their operations, Daimler FleetBoard wanted to link data from customers’ vehicles with their business applications. The company needed to be able to scan, transmit and integrate data on each vehicle’s status and position in real time, while the vehicles were on the road.

With the help of IBM software, Daimler FleetBoard implemented a comprehensive telematics system to optimise its customers’ use of vehicles, journey planning and time management. The onboard computer installed in all its commercial vehicles regularly transmits data between the vehicle and the telematics centre. The customers of Daimler FleetBoard access their data, reports and analyses via the Internet to simplify decision-making and receive suggestions for possible optimisation.

Reduces fuel consumption by five to 10 percent by analysing driving techniques and re-educating drivers. This not only reduces the biggest expense factor in logistics companies, but also provides an important contribution to saving natural resources and the environment.

Avoids downtime and extends maintenance intervals by constantly analysing maintenance data and prompting preventive maintenance and repair measures. Increases the flexibility and improves the decision-making of the logistics companies by linking the dispatch data to the actual status data across multiple systems. Optimises the haulage business through dynamic route-planning based on real-time monitoring of vehicles’ positions. Makes it easier for companies to comply with applicable laws governing driving times and rest periods for their drivers.

Case Study

To read a German version of this case study, please click here

Daimler FleetBoard GmbH was established in 2003 as a 100-percent subsidiary of Daimler AG and benefits from Daimler’s many years of experience in the truck industry and information technology know-how. More than 200 employees develop and sell future-proof solutions to meet the everyday needs of transport and logistics companies.

Daimler FleetBoard’s head office is located in Stuttgart, Germany. By using its own sales organisation as well as the Daimler organisational network, the company is able to offer its services virtually worldwide.

In order to support logistics companies in the optimisation of their operations, Daimler FleetBoard wanted to enhance the integration of operational data from customers’ vehicles with their business applications. To provide additional services, Daimler FleetBoard needed to be able to monitor status, position and order data in real time, while vehicles were on the road. With the help of IBM technology, the company developed a smart solution which unites a comprehensive central IT application with mobile devices in the commercial vehicles.

Specially developed components enable the position of each vehicle to be monitored via satellite positioning at any time, and the solution can also scan loaded and unloaded packages to update the electronic freight lists. Together with the vehicle’s operating data, this position and freight data is transmitted to and from the vehicle using the latest mobile radio technology. The company has equipped in excess of 100,000 trucks for more than 3,000 logistics companies since the FleetBoard services were launched, and in new trucks such as the Mercedes-Benz Actros, the onboard unit is factory-fitted.

Varied evaluations provide interesting insights

At the moment, Daimler FleetBoard offers services in three essential areas: vehicle management, which supports more economical and reliable operations; transport management, which increases efficiency in logistics processes; and time management, which helps to monitor drivers’ performance. According to internal calculations, the complete FleetBoard service offering can save customers approximately €9,100 per vehicle per year.

For each of these three services, the Daimler FleetBoard solution provides actionable reports that summarise the most important information for customers in specific roles.

The executive report gives senior managers an overview of the most important data and trends relating to their fleet during the last three months.

The fleet report, which is designed for fleet managers, contains maintenance planning information and a ranking of the most economically efficient drivers and vehicles, as well as giving suggestions for the optimisation of vehicle efficiency. The preventive maintenance planning data is based on the FleetBoard maintenance forecast. It analyses component deterioration and consumption data, calculates maintenance requirements, and transmits them to the garage. This enables the garage to bundle up maintenance jobs and optimise scheduling to minimise downtime.

With the driver report, drivers are given an overview of their driving styles. On the basis of consumption and component damage wear data, the system automatically suggests measures which serve to help drivers improve their driving style. During the first three months of using this service, Daimler FleetBoard has seen its customers reduce fuel expenses, maintenance costs and CO2 emissions of commercial vehicles by an average of approximately seven percent.

Finally, via a scorecard known as the FleetBoard Benchmark, drivers and fleet managers can compare their performances, identify potential for improvement and optimise their activities not only within their own fleet, but also with the best of the competition. If requested, Daimler FleetBoard can even carry out special training for drivers to teach them the most effective vehicle-handling techniques.

While in the vehicle, the driver is supported by specially developed devices that provide useful information and navigation services. These devices can be updated remotely via the mobile network, without the vehicle having to be taken to the garage. This eliminates cost-intensive downtime when software updates are necessary.

Collection and evaluation of vehicle data in near-real-time

From the very beginning, Daimler FleetBoard has been using IBM WebSphere software for its telematics service. Development, test and quality assurance processes for the central and mobile solution components are supported by IBM Rational tools. For internal reporting and analysis purposes, Daimler FleetBoard uses IBM Cognos Business Intelligence. Experts from IBM Software Group supported the company in the implementation of the base systems and user training.

High-performance computer systems at Daimler’s European data centre in Stuttgart guarantee reliable 24/7 processing and evaluation of all data. The results of these calculations are made available in the form of meaningful reports and analyses that Daimler FleetBoard customers can access via a password-protected internet portal. A standardised SOAP interface is also available to integrate the vehicle data and logistic data with the customer’s central applications.

Dr. Lothar Burger, Manager IT Operations at Daimler FleetBoard GmbH, describes the amount of data that is regularly transmitted and processed by the solution: “We receive approximately 15 million messages per week from connected vehicles via mobile radio. The messages contain a wide variety of information such as position data, time data, journey data or freight data. The processing is done on an almost real-time basis, so customers can always view the latest information from their vehicle fleet. For example, the positions of all vehicles can immediately be displayed on a map at any time.”

Customers’ employees can access fleet information from their PCs using platform-independent Java applications, or via mobile apps from their smartphones and tablet PCs. Using these applications, users can make last-minute changes: for example updated routes or delivery addresses can be transmitted at any time.

In the event of an accident or a technical breakdown, the solution sends a breakdown call. Dr. Christian Ballarin, Director Development and Operations, Daimler FleetBoard GmbH explains the advantages of this detailed breakdown report: “Particularly in less densely populated regions like South Africa, Brazil or other countries, the breakdown call has quite often proved itself valuable. The operational data that is transmitted often contains helpful hints as to the type of defect, which enables technicians to ensure that they have the right spare parts when they arrive. This has often saved journeys of several hours between the garage and the broken-down vehicle.”

Ongoing development guarantees sustainability

“As a software-as-a-service provider, we need to constantly refine our solutions,” Dr. Christian Ballarin explains. “A number of in-house software specialists are involved in the improvement and quality assurance of these applications. The IBM Rational development and test tools and the extremely stable IBM middleware on our central servers represent a significant proportion of our success. With this technology base we are well prepared to increase the economic efficiency of our customers and to support them in making sound decisions in their day-to-day business.”

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Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Power Systems

AIX, Cognos Business Intelligence, WebSphere Application Server

Operating system:

Software Services for Business Analytics

Legal Information

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