Daimler AG is showing off a new wrinkle in digitalization by Daimler Trucks that will ease the stress on commercial vehicle drivers.

At the same time, the added digitalization processes are becoming more efficient and more secure by enabling trucks to autonomously communicate with other machines and carry out legally-binding transactions, such as payments.

With the newly created digital Truck-ID and Truck Wallet, experts at Daimler Trucks have now created the appropriate prerequisites as part of a pilot project. For example, developers have joined forces with partners and successfully carried out an automatic payment at an electric charging station.

Helge Koenigs, head of the Truck Wallet project at Daimler Trucks, said, “With Truck-ID and Truck Wallet, we have laid the foundation for autonomous interaction between trucks and other machines – a true technological milestone.

“Our aim is that, in future, trucks will be able to act on their own behalf in various fields of application. Drivers can then concentrate more on their actual driving tasks and haulage firms benefit from a significant reduction in administration work and more secure processes,” Koenig said.

The system allows vehicles to themselves to other machines using their Truck-ID as if they had their own integrated ID card and can thus provide a unique signature for specific processes.

Truck Wallet works as a platform technology and central user program for all applications which can access the Truck-ID for various purposes.

Truck-ID and Truck Wallet – both currently still in the prototype phase – are stored as encrypted software programs within a cryptographic processor. Koenig said the system makes it practically impossible to carry out such things as fuel card scams whereby criminals copy a fuel card and spy on the PIN number being entered.

This processor is part of the Truck Data Center, the central telematics control unit of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros.

It receives data from the sensors, cameras, etc. in the truck and evaluates this for the most varied of use cases. What’s more, as the interface for all connectivity services, it is responsible for the truck’s external communications.

Just like a modern smartphone, the Truck Data Center communicates via Bluetooth or 4G with the infrastructure, with other vehicles and other instances which are part of the logistics process.

“Also in terms of highly automated trucks, our prototypes show the direction in which such further developments can go,” Koenig said.

Source: The Detroit Bureau

Read More

The Q2 Lease Trends Report from Swapalease.com showed that the appeal of crossovers might be at a tipping point.

A year ago, Swapalease.com indicated roughly 7.4% of drivers polled said they would shop for a crossover if they needed to go out and lease a vehicle that day. A year later, the site discovered that number dipped slightly to 7.1%. With all the explosive growth in crossover production by automakers, site analysts asked, “Is it not a vehicle that appeals to the lease crowd?”

Historically, Swapalease.com indicated a change in family size has been among the leading reasons why people have wanted to transfer out of their current vehicle lease.

A year ago, 11.5% of people said this factor applied to them, and this number has dropped further to 8.8%, according to the site’s Q2 report.

Conversely, 29.4% of people said they want to change their current vehicle type, and 23% indicated a desire to change their vehicle brand.

So, has crossover appeal plateaued to potential lease customers?

“Our latest lease trends show that crossover saturation may be setting into vehicle leasing, as the number of people who say they want to lease a crossover appears to be falling slightly from a year earlier,” Swapalease.com executive vice president Scot Hall said.

“Perhaps price and incentives play a role here, but it’s also possible that people are desiring other model types when leasing a vehicle today,” Hall continued.

Whether an individual is leasing a crossover, a sedan or a pickup, Swapalease.com also noted those people are paying more each month.

A year ago, Swapalease.com reported the average lease payment was listed at $474.80. As of Q2, this number is $506.13, an increase of 6.8%.

What’s more, the site mentioned that a year ago nearly one in five people said they would look for a payment between $200 and $299. A year later, this percentage has slipped to just 12%.

Furthermore, individuals considering the payment category between $500 and $599 generated the largest year-over-year jump in the report, climbing from 10.7% to 19.2%.

Source: Auto Remarketing

Read More