10 Benefits of OEM-Native Connected Trucks

In the evolution of telematics, data quality and connectivity have always been a top priority. Rich, real-time data on fleet operations, vehicle health, driver performance, route conditions, and more make an invaluable difference towards smarter decisions and an optimized fleet.

Today, the newest generation of telematics is shifting the focus of fleet insight even further up the production line, partnering with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to install smart components on the manufacturing floor. The result is new rigs rolling out with their telematics platform prepped and ready-to-run, activated by the fleet within minutes. Drivers can simply climb into the cab, tablet in hand, and roll out with a fully connected vehicle.

OEM Native Delivers Optimized Connectivity

This is a noticeable difference from the traditional process of after-market add-ons that require a vehicle to be off the road for a substantial amount of time, and for fleet IT members to spend hours working to incorporate disparate technologies and workarounds into their existing platform. For drivers, this can mean a clunky workflow, added distractions, and more process steps. For management and back-office, a lack of integration can result in “portal hopping” through various tools and data blind spots.

This new OEM-based approach essentially converts each vehicle into a dynamic tech hub, with real-time vehicle data, sensor integration, ease-of-use and automation, and advanced safety features built-in. 

Benefits for the Entire Fleet

The benefits of an OEM-native platform stretch across the entire fleet, from the driver cab to the back office. Some of these benefits include:

1. Less in- and out-of-the-cab for drivers, thanks to automated data entry and integrated smarter sensors that send information directly to the driver console and the back office as needed.

2. Reduced downtime for rig setup and activation, meaning more trucks on the road for more time, and fewer operational interruptions. 

3. A more seamless user experience with pre-integrated apps and a “single pane of glass” view for management that lets you easily navigate through all  data in your fleet.

4. Increased driver safety from pre-configured sensors and integrated tools like smart cameras, tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), fatigue alerts, expanded driver field of view, and more.

5. Reduced distractions and optimize communication between the back office and the cab, from integrated mobile application management (MAM) and mobile device management (MDM) tools.

6. More efficient and safer routes, thanks to fully connected navigation tools and real time data transfers from the cloud and the edge.

7. Reduced burnout and increased data accuracy, since automated data entry features, smart sensors, and digital reporting tools reduce paperwork and eliminate redundant data tasks for drivers, back office, and management. 

8. More efficient reporting with integrated software tools for automated data aggregation, report generation, and schedule sharing.

9. Better system customization, thanks to a robust library of partner apps, pre-vetted and approved to integrate seamlessly into the fleet’s platform.

10. Increased technology advancement for the industry as a whole, thanks to shared app developer tools like best practice guides, API & SDK documentation, tooling and samples, and more.

OEM-Native Trucks on the Road Today

Leading OEMs are already rolling out these ultra-connected smart trucks, partnering with top telematics tools providers to fully equip new trucks. Leading the way is the collaboration between Platform Science and Daimler Truck North America, Navistar, PACCAR, and other top OEMs, with a platform known as Virtual Vehicle. Virtual Vehicle isn’t just a connection to an OEM’s data feed, or a preinstalled-at-the-factory device. Instead, Virtual Vehicle is turnkey software pre-installed by the OEM truck manufacturer, then easily managed remotely by the fleet operator and updated over-the-air as needed.

Increased Tech Customization for Fleets

Fleets can further tailor their operations with a customized tech stack, choosing from the extensive Virtual Vehicle app ecosystem of tools. Apps are sorted into categories based on specific areas of interest, such as improved compliance, navigation, fuel management, maintenance, and more. These third-party tools can then be seamlessly distributed to the fleet’s Virtual Vehicle platform and start delivering improvements right away. 

Finally, Virtual Vehicle tools help fleets transition to an OEM-native telematics setup through a hybrid approach when needed. This includes delivering data insights from the fleet’s legacy trucks into the fleet-wide virtual view and supporting aftermarket hardware installations for non-compatible vehicles.

Multiple fleet lines such as Schneider, Werner Enterprises, CR England, and Covenant Logistics are already seeing impressive efficiency, connectivity, and productivity improvements from implementing Virtual Vehicle and OEM-native connectivity into their mixed-vehicle operations.

A Smarter Work Day, a More Connected Industry

Making the shift to OEM-native connectivity promises to deliver an exciting future for the trucking industry, where real-time data is uninterrupted, routes are smarter and safer than ever, and everyone – drivers, back office, and management – experience more fulfilling roles and are better informed to make the most of their resources. 

Virtual Vehicle is currently natively available on a variety of models and expanding rapidly. To see if your fleet is eligible for native connection, connect with the Platform Science team now

Learn more about the Virtual Vehicle platform now.