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.