Trucks at Work
How much for that connected truck in the window?

How much for that connected truck in the window?

So I listened to an interesting presentation by Dominik Beckman, director of marketing and dealer operations for Hino Trucks at the TU-Automotive Connected Fleets USA conference this week in Atlanta.

He talked about how, starting with the 2017 model year released back in January this year, all Hino truck models will come equipped with the OEM’s “Insight” telematics system – a system powered by third party provider Telogis, a company acquired by Verizon Telematics back in June.

The basic scheme breaks down like this: if a Hino customer wants the Insight package activated, they get the telematics system free for a year, while the Insight RD (remote diagnostics) and CM (case management) functions are free for five years.

Altogether, the Insight system delivers a fully “connected truck” to a customer without them having to buy additional hardware or software for electronic logging devices (ELDs), electronic driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs), vehicle tracking and navigation, etc.

Add to that the ability to diagnose vehicle problems remotely and then be electronically connected to Hino dealerships for repairs – a process aimed at slashing the cost of vehicle downtime.

Hino's Dominik Beckman

There’s also an “internal benefit” to Hino from this onboard telematics package, Beckman said, noting that the OEM was able to avoid a recall of a particular sensor array due to the data gathering by Insight RD. “Those remote diagnostic codes helped us identify that problem,” he explained.

Beckman believes connected trucks will be “transformational” not just in terms of how truck owners interact with the OEM and dealerships but with the “customer’s customer” as well.

“That’s the future of where we are headed with this; how to connect the truck to our customer’s customer,” he said. “If we are able to do that, we effectively ‘close the loop’ in terms of the trucks operating cycle.”

Beckman remained vague on how “closing the loop” would work, but he said by bringing all the parts of the supply chain that a truck touches under “one umbrella” – that is, connected through one telematics system that is onboard the truck – can lay the groundwork for achieving a “whole host of synergies – some that we are probably don’t even know about yet.”

He added that Hino expects to reveal more about how it plans to connect its trucks to its customer’s customer in about two months – roughly early next year.

It’ll be interesting to see where those new truck connections take the industry.

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