CONTINUING ON FROM our general global telematics guide late last year, we now look at two popular systems on the Australian market from the big Swedes: Scania and Volvo.

Swedish commercial vehicle heavyweights Scania and Volvo both have popular telematics systems and strategies used in the Australian bus and coach market.

The idea isn’t exactly new, but telematics arguably is of critical importance these days to all commercial vehicle operators and fleet managers – and buses and coaches are no different.


Scania has more than 350,000 connected vehicles on the road, split between truck and bus operators in every corner of the world, including more than 4,500 vehicles in Australia, it states.

For Scania, the collection of operating data provides the opportunity to help customers understand how their vehicles and drivers are working, and highlights in regular reports where costs and waste can be trimmed.

The Scania Optimise programme provides operating data at regular intervals, and Scania analyses it and presents it as easy-to-read reports, using colour coding to draw attention to excesses.

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It becomes immediately obvious if a driver who has undertaken Scania driver training has returned to poor habits of harsh acceleration and braking or unnecessary and extended idling, which burns fuel needlessly, the company says.

Driver acceptance of the monitoring and the driver coaching has been high, resulting in friendly competition between drivers to obtain the best results.

A programme run in Australia with a prominent bus operator saw the combination of Scania driver training and Scania Optimise connectivity and data analysis return a 16 per cent fuel efficiency bonus. Both costs and emissions fell by a meaningful amount. Annualised across the vehicles running the programme, the savings amount to $150,000, Scania says.

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Wear and tear levels are also reduced, and fewer accidents occur, promoting even greater uptime, Scania states.

"We have several years of experience running Scania Optimise both in Australia and overseas. The data shows us that drivers who have the right attitude, and who continue to practice what they have been shown, can over the long-term deliver consistently improved fuel performance," said Richard Bain, manager of Scania Connected Services.

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"Drivers who do well with Optimise give their passengers a smoother ride, leading to better customer experience and thus increased patronage."

In addition to monitoring how vehicles are being driven, the Scania Connected Services product can flag the need for services or repairs, geofence the vehicle, as well as pinpoint its position in real-time.



Volvo’s Connected Services bring a new level of control to your business and contribute to overall fleet efficiency, vehicle uptime and safety, it says. Its portfolio includes the comprehensive Fleet Management system, services for enhanced driver performance, and innovative zoning solutions – now all available as standard on new buses and coaches.

Volvo’s Connected Services are tailor-made for bus and coach operations. They are capable, accurate and easy to use and customise with all information available at all times via a user-friendly web interface.


Volvo believed in the system and its benefits so much that it recently announced it now connects all new buses and coaches as standard - with the permission of the operator.

"It has taken us a few years to get to this point where we have realised the benefits of the tool are so great for both the operator and for ourselves that we should remove subscription fees and provide connectivity as standard," shared Lauren Downs, general manager Volvo Bus.

Volvo’s Fleet Management system is at the heart of its connected solutions. It offers a suite of four standard services: Reports, Events, Positions and Driving Profile – specially designed for the comprehensive management of your fleet, it says. Pre-set speed limited zones (safety zones) can also be activated through the system.

"We already have more than 500 buses connected to the Volvo system today in Australia, and the results, feedback and uptime stories speak for themselves. The connectivity means our dealer network and dedicated bus service team can remotely access vehicles no matter when and where a vehicle may be – this is truly a game-changer for service and support," said Downs.  

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Volvo recognises your driver is key to increased productivity. The optional i-Coaching device provides instant and continuous feedback delivered directly to the dashboard to encourage smooth and efficient driving style – all the time. Operators using i-Coaching, in combination with Volvo driver training, have seen reductions of fuel usage by up to 10 per cent, says Volvo.

Volvo’s Connected Services are proactive and keep you in control at all times – so you know and can enhance the exact status of your operation, the fleet’s health, and how your drivers are performing. 

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Bridgestone Corporation (Bridgestone) recently announced that its subsidiary, Bridgestone Europe NV/SA, has entered into an agreement with TomTom to acquire TomTom Telematics, its digital fleet solutions business, for a cash consideration of €910 million (A$1.4 billion).

The transaction is anticipated to be completed at the latest in the second quarter of 2019, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions such as regulatory approvals.

This acquisition doesn’t have a direct implication for the Australian market, a company spokesperson confirmed; however, it is related to Bridgestone ANZ’s B Mobile technology.

TomTom is the number one provider of digital fleet solutions in Europe, a marketplace diverse in legal, commercial and cultural requirements. Its digital fleet solutions business has successfully demonstrated its ability to operate in complex and demanding market environments and has continued to strengthen its potential to expand globally, the company states.

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TomTom’s digital fleet solution offers an industry-leading data platform for connected vehicles enabling safer driving, improving productivity and optimising uptime for personal and commercial mobility, it states. Combining this digital fleet solution with Bridgestone’s tyre expertise and global service network creates an opportunity that accelerates the company’s efforts to become a key partner in the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) landscape with leading tyre products, services and solutions offerings, according to Bridgestone.

In addition to reinforcing Bridgestone’s broad and leading portfolio, this strategic investment will also strengthen its position as an innovative leader in the field of tyre design, and tyre predictive maintenance service, it explains. Bridgestone will gain unprecedented insights into vehicle and tyre operating conditions and be able to leverage a growing installed user base of 860,000 vehicles communicating 200 million data points per day.

With this acquisition, Bridgestone adds core components to its Tire and Diversified Products as a Solution strategy, defining the company’s evolving business domain and continuous commitment towards value creation for its customers and the society, it states.

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