A new onboard truck navigation system introduced at the IAA Commercial Vehicle show in Hanover, Germany this fall is an early step in the development of a comprehensive vehicle control system by Siemens VDO that is intended to integrate telematics, navigation, electronic controls and even HVAC functions into an “intelligent network.”

Launching first in Europe later this year and in North America in the near future, the Siemens VDO navigation unit is an OEM-installed system that combines GPS and dead-reckoning tracking with real-time traffic updates and automatic rerouting around congestion and other delays. It also allows users to customize routing to a vehicle's specific size, weight and cargo.

The system uses a large full-color screen to display maps and interface with its controls, and map data is stored on a solid-state secure digital (SD) card. It can also be integrated with other telematics, information and entertainment functions, according Siemens VDO.

The next generation truck navigation system is expected to take advantage of the e-horizon feature developed by Siemens VDO and already offered for BMW passenger cars in Europe. Drawing on terrain profile data and detailed information on road characteristics such as curve radii, it can anticipate road conditions and automatically adjust engine output and gear selection when tied to automated transmission and engine controls. The result is substantial fuel savings, according to Siemens VDO officials.

The company sees the navigation system as eventually just one component in its vehicle control center (VCC), which would combine hardware and software in “a networked, open and scaleable solution.” The VCC is intended to simplify vehicle, information and communication controls for the driver by offering a consistent “human/machine interface,” while offering both truck builders and users the ability to easily add functions or interfaces with existing applications such as fleet management systems. It would also enable remote vehicle diagnostics and eventually even prognostics, the company says.

For more information, go to www.siemensvdo.com