Technology Mobility

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Connectivity Across the Entire (Bus) Line

Tags: Zero emissions, Connectivity, E-Mobility, Efficiency, Mobility, Technology
Openmatics is now the official telematics supplier for VDL Bus & Coach. The Netherlands-based city bus and coach manufacturer and its customers are all benefiting from it.
Achim Neuwirth, September 28, 2018
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Achim Neuwirth has been writing for ZF since 2011. He has specialized in writing texts about all kinds of car-related topics: from vehicles to the technology behind them, to driving and traffic.
In the transport industry, vehicles must run efficiently. Operators that have as much information as possible regarding the status of their fleet 24/7 will have the upper hand. And it will not matter whether the fleet is made up of various buses or whether they are operated with diesel or run electrically. For these and other reasons, the VDL factory is now rolling buses and coaches off the line equipped with the Openmatics connectivity platform. It is the only telematics system that can handle both management and diagnosis of mixed fleets consisting of electric and combustion-engine powered vehicles.

Telematics for Smart E-Fleets

"Data analysis plays one of the key roles in energy and charge management for electric vehicles. We are therefore particularly pleased to announce that VDL Bus & Coach is now leveraging the advantages of our connectivity solution as a standard feature,” emphasizes Thomas Rösch, CEO of Openmatics. “As a leading provider of electric buses in Western Europe, we are flexible and open to technology, and we expect the same of our telematics system. Openmatics is the ideal partner for us,” adds Henk Coppens, CEO of VDL Bus & Coach.
Its open connectivity platform gives VDL a complete overview of the efficiency and status of its vehicles, which helps the company considerably reduce its total operating costs. In addition, the data provided by Openmatics enables new technologies to be implemented and further developed in vehicles. Not only that, the Openmatics solution also comes with application programming interfaces or APIs as well as software development tools (Software Development Kit, SDK).
“As a leading supplier of electric buses in Western Europe, we are flexible and open to technology, and we expect the same of our telematics system. Openmatics is therefore the ideal partner for us”
— Henk Coppens, CEO of VDL Bus & Coach

Intelligent connectivity guarantees efficiency

This business intelligence application is tailored to electric bus requirements, which makes it truly unique. It can be used to accurately record everything that is relevant for electric driving. The system uses the data collected to automatically generate accurate status reports on battery management, energy consumption, range and vehicle diagnostics, to name a few.
Openmatics has other features that also benefit the diesel-powered city buses and coaches from VDL. More specifically, these include accommodating ZF technologies such as the EcoLife and TraXon transmissions or even the chassis systems, as well as third-party components.
All standard reports are available in the Openmatics / VDL portal which can be accessed from any mobile device.
When it comes to telematics solutions, Openmatics, the connectivity specialist from ZF, is the partner of choice for VDL Bus & Coach. Menno Kleingeld, CEO of VDL Enabling Transport Solutions (VDL ETS), summarizes the many advantages of the connectivity partnership.

Connectivity puts software “Over the Air”

In the future, Openmatics will also support predictive maintenance, which means functional problems will be able to be detected early on and subsequently addressed before they occur. Another application example is a dynamic shift program for diesel buses. It is even conceivable that component software will soon be able to be updated over the air (OTA) instead of on-site at the auto repair shop.
For its customers, the vehicle manufacturer will additionally offer “VDL Connected Services” based on the Openmatics platform. This project is intended to keep fleet managers informed of the operating status of its vehicles and to further increase their earnings.