Detroit Diesel launches Detroit Connect


Detroit Diesel Corporation (Detroit) has introduced a new addition to its product family: Detroit Connect. It is the telematics arm that includes the Detroit Virtual Technician onboard diagnostics system.

Detroit offers a complete line of heavy duty diesel engines, axles and transmissions for the commercial transportation industry in both the on-highway and vocational markets.

The new Detroit Connect brand serves to strengthen Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) and Detroit’s commitment to developing integrated telematics solutions that enhance efficiency, uptime and performance, says David Hames, DTNA’s general manager, marketing and strategy.

Detroit Connect is the first OEM provided, factory-installed telematics solution with remote diagnosis capability for the trucking industry, he points out.

Detroit’s parent company, DTNA - which produces and markets Class 4 to 8 trucks and is a Daimler company, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer - has long set the standard for developing innovative technologies that increase fuel efficiency, improve product reliability and feature industry-leading safety components, says Hames. With products that provide onboard diagnostics, fleet oversight software and in-cab integration, Detroit Connect telematics solutions complement and build upon DTNA’s existing portfolio of solutions.

“DTNA and Detroit deliver innovative products that impact the bottom line for our customers,” he says. “The core of everything we do is total cost of ownership.

“With products like Detroit Virtual Technician and Visibility Fleet Software, Detroit has already established a solid foundation for telematics solutions. By formalizing the Detroit Connect brand, we are utilizing and building upon this groundwork to pave the way for additional product introductions and enhancements.”


On-Board Tablet

In conjunction with the launch of the new brand, Detroit Connect has also introduced its new On-Board Tablet. It joins Virtual Technician and Visibility Fleet Software solutions to create a “comprehensive suite of services that form the critical link between vehicles, engineers, service outlets and fleet managers,” Brad Williamson, manager - engine and component marketing, DTNA.

“More than 60,000 Freightliner and Western Star customers have already benefitted from the proven advantages of Detroit Connect solutions, and the new On-Board Tablet will make it even easier to streamline and optimize data and communications.”

The new On-Board Tablet is an advanced mobile device that is equipped with four powerful apps to streamline driver communications and responsibilities, explains Joe Saccio, DTNA’s telematics sales and marketing manager. Developed in collaboration with Zonar Systems - a company that which provides electronic inspection, tracking and operations solutions for public and private fleets, the 7-inch color touch screen Android tablet provides Hours-of-Service logs for reporting; Two-Way Messaging, including text to voice; Advanced Navigation for asset-specific routing and simplified Pre- and Post-trip Inspection.

The tablet works in tandem with Virtual Technician and Visibility Fleet Software.


Detroit Virtual Technician

Available for Freightliner and Western Star trucks with an EPA 2010 or newer Detroit engines, the proprietary Virtual Technician onboard diagnostics technology helps reduce downtime and decrease maintenance costs by providing a technical snapshot of the engine’s status as soon as the Check Engine light comes on. This enables drivers and fleet managers to make informed decisions with real-time information, says Hames.

The Detroit Customer Support Center then relays the information to the provided contact to determine the issue, recommended service, how soon the engine needs to be serviced and the closest authorized Detroit service location.

Often, depending on the issue, the driver can complete the delivery before visiting the service center, he notes.

Trained technicians are alerted in advance of the customer’s arrival, so they can quickly line up the parts, arrange for service and repair the problem.


Visibility Fleet Software

Visibility Fleet Software uses wireless communication and a GPS satellite network to deliver real-time data on an entire fleet to a secured website, enabling fleet managers and owners to monitor the status of one or all of the trucks. The software generates reports that analyze fleet efficiency and provides detailed information on vehicle location, speed, mileage, routes, stop times, idle times and more.

“From our trucks to our powertrain to our telematics solutions, our customers demand solutions that impact their bottom line,” says Williamson “Detroit Connect will provide advanced technologies that benefit performance and efficiency that is bolstered by the unparalleled support of our award-winning service network.”

With more than 800 authorized locations in the United States and Canada, the Detroit Customer Service network provides immediate access to maintenance information, and factory-trained technicians are always available.

Detroit Connect, Virtual Technician and the On-Board Tablet are part of the Detroit brand family, which includes the Detroit DT12 Automated Manual Transmission, Detroit Axles and Detroit engines.

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