Hannover / Friedrichshafen. Openmatics, a subsidiary of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, is the official connectivity platform provider for VDL Bus & Coach, the Dutch vehicle manufacturer of buses and coaches. The open platform including API (Application Programming Interface) and SDK (Software Development Kit) functionalities offers excellent networking and function options for the Western European electric bus market leader. It provides VDL with a full overview on the operational efficiency of all of their vehicles. Furthermore, VDL - in close cooperation with Openmatics - will soon offer a range of “Connected Services” to its customers.
Thomas Rösch, CEO of Openmatics, said: "Data analysis plays a huge role in energy and charge management for electric vehicles. We are therefore particularly pleased to announce that VDL Bus & Coach is now utilizing the advantages of our connectivity solution as standard.”
"As the leading provider of electric buses in Western Europe, we are flexible and open to technology and we expect the same of any connectivity system that we implement in-house. We've found the ideal partner for this with Openmatics", added Henk Coppens, CEO of VDL Bus & Coach.
Intelligent analysis for increased operational efficiency
The data provided by Openmatics allows VDL to implement and improve new technologies in its vehicles. Also, it can be monitored at any time if fleets are running well - regardless of vehicle type, Openmatics can provide a detailed overview about the efficiency of the operation. This significantly contributes to further lowering the vehicle’s total costs of ownership.
The Business Intelligence application from Openmatics, tailored to electric bus requirements, is unique. All parameters that are relevant for electric driving can be recorded precisely with this. The resulting data is used to generate automatic reports that visualize parameters like detailed battery management, energy consumption, range and vehicle diagnostics. All evaluations are available in the Openmatics / VDL portal and authorized users can access this portal using any mobile device. Openmatics offers similar functions for VDL's diesel-powered city buses and coaches, but then tailored with specific parameters - for for example ZF´s EcoLife or TraXon transmission and chassis systems as well as parameters from third party components. By the end of 2018, more than 300 VDL electric buses will be fitted with the Openmatics solution.
Maintenance and more "over the air"
Openmatics and VDL also have more in store. For example, information regarding the condition of certain components – including ZF components - will allow predictive maintenance, for example to detect early signs of component failure prevented them before they occur. Another application of the system consists in dynamic shifting program for the vehicles equipped with a diesel engine based on actual and historical data. Updating component software over the air (OTA) instead of in the workshop could also be an option in the future. The Openmatics box in the vehicle can coordinate this centrally and securely.
VDL Bus & Coach will not be the only party to benefit from the benefits of Openmatics – the company is running a project to also offer the solution to its customers. Furthermore, the „VDL Connected Services” based on the Openmatics platform should increase the fleet manager’s profit of ownership and keep them updated on the status of their operation at any time. Using the Openmatics API, customers of VDL will also be able to connect the data to their own IT infrastructure.