Detroit Connect Virtual Technician Fleets of all sizes that are running Detroit power trains are about to get access to several new tools that will make it easier to analyze the vast amount of data available from the truck, including engine fault code data, fuel efficiency and safety data.

Detroit Connect GraphicDaimler Trucks North America (DTNA) recently announced that all Freightliner Trucks and Western Star customers with an active Detroit Connect subscription now have access to the Detroit Connect portal. In addition, a mobile app will be available later this year.

The portal is a hub for new and future connectivity services — such as the Detroit Connect Virtual Technician remote diagnostic service — for Detroit-powered fleets.

The Detroit Connect portal provides information about overall fleet health with a few clicks of the mouse, and will let users take a deeper dive into specific fault events communicated by Virtual Technician.

Real-time fault event notifications delivered through the portal lets fleets quickly determine whether a vehicle requires an immediate service stop or can finish its route or day’s work. The portal also delivers full diagnostic information from Virtual Technician, including the cause of the fault and in some cases the steps needed to repair the issue.

For customers wanting to do a deeper dive into an issue, Detroit Diesel Engine Control (DDEC) reports can also be viewed and archived via the portal.

Company executives stressed that ease of use for customers and the ability to easily integrate the data into their fleet’s real-world operations was a priority.

DTNA is currently piloting the Apple iOS version of the mobile app with customers and is developing an Android version. Both will be available in the October time-frame.

Fleets running the new Freightliner Cascadia will also use the new portal (and its mobile version) to access upcoming and future Detroit Connect services, including Detroit Connect Remote Updates over-the-air updates. And they will have access to new fuel efficiency insights and safety events, according to Freightliner.

The new Detroit Connect Analytics is currently being piloted with 11 fleet customers and will be launched to customers in the October time-frame. Customers will be able to choose from fuel analytics, safety analytics or both, company officials said.

Jason Krajewski, a manager at Detroit Connect Analytics, said: “We know customers are relying more on connected vehicle data. Truck performance data has tremendous value. Where did it go, how did it perform, did that new technology do what it was supposed to?’’

Paper Transport Inc. is one of the fleets in the Detroit Connect Analytics pilot program. Dan Deppeler, vice president for maintenance, said, “We don’t want drivers to have to worry about maintenance. We want them to be out there driving the truck.”

He cited a recent example where the system alerted the fleet that a driver was being notified by the truck to do a DPF regen, but the cycle wasn’t being completed. “We saw that in the fault codes and brought it in and found out there was sand in the air filter. It was an easy replacement and we prevented that driver from getting stuck out on the road.”

Detroit ConnectWhile Detroit Connect Analytics will initially be available on the new Freightliner Cascadia in October, plans are to roll out a version for the classic Cascadia, potentially by the end of the year.

Later in the year, additional features of Detroit Connect Remote Updates, such as fleet-initiated remote engine parameter programming and Detroit-initiated firmware updates, will be rolled out to new Cascadia customers, the company said. All Remote Updates are enabled by the new Detroit Connect platform, which is available exclusively for the new Cascadia, company officials said.

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