YOUNTVILLE, CA. Daimler Trucks North America offered a glimpse into upcoming advancements of its Detroit Connect system, including over-the-air reports.

DTNA said July 27 that fleets with the new Freightliner Cascadia and Detroit engine will be able to access Detroit Diesel Engine Control (DDEC) on-demand reports later this summer.

Matt Pfaffenbach, DTNA’s director of telematics, said it is another step of how the company is helping customers more easily receive and act upon maintenance, safety, and performance data that can improve driver behavior and overall operations.

“By making DDEC reports available through the Detroit Connect portal, we are eliminating the need for fleets to bring a vehicle into the shop and extract the reports,” said Lauren Attinasi, DTNA’s product strategy manager of connectivity.

Attinasi provided members of the media a walk-through of the updated Detroit Connect portal, which provides fleets a vehicle-by-vehicle look at fuel economy, percentage of miles in cruise control, safety warnings and dozens of other data points. She also previewed the Detroit Connect smart phone app, expected to become available later this year.

The real-time system diagnoses maintenance problems and can help a fleet quickly determine if a driver can safely finish a day’s route if the check engine light comes on.

“With the Detroit Connect portal, [fleets] can manage the way they interact with their vehicle’s performance data in a way that best suits their individual priorities,” said Greg Treinen, DTNA’s manager of connectivity.  

Also during the media briefing, Mike McHorse, Freightliner’s on-highway product marketing segment manager, said about 10,000 of the next-generation, model year 2018 Cascadia have been built, and orders continue to ramp up.

The vehicle initially entered production earlier this year, and Kary Schaefer, DTNA general manager of marketing and strategy, said one fleet has reported they are averaging 9 mpg with the new trucks.

Dan Deppeler, vice president of maintenance for Paper Transport, said the company has been very pleased with the performance and driver reaction to its 11 new Cascadias. He also spoke highly of Detroit Connect, which he said helps the company perform vehicle maintenance without affecting drivers’ on-duty and home time.