By: Fabian Cotter

BREAKING: VOLVO BUS AUSTRALIA will scrap subscription fees and offer to connect all new buses delivered in Australia from October, 2018, to Volvo’s telematics system - Connected Services - free of charge, it was announced today.

Volvo customers can expect free Connected Services on new buses delivered from October, 2018.

"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 on all of our new vehicles," explained Lauren Downs, general manager Volvo Bus Australia.

"Already today we can connect new vehicles upon request, and then from October all new buses - where permitted by the operator - will be connected prior to delivery with access to services including vehicle positioning, fuel reporting and vehicle events."

Connected Services is an area of technology that, at its core, is based on vehicles being wirelessly connected, such that vehicle and performance data is captured from the on-board network, transmitted via GPRS, and securely accessed over the internet by the operator, their workshop and the Volvo dealer.

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The Volvo tool, designed to be fitted on Volvo vehicles, pulls the data directly from the chassis’ FMS gateway, the company states. The online portal enables the operator and/or Volvo to set up automatic reports, alerts, location mapping, geo-fencing, remote diagnostics and more, which can then be used by operators to assist with service management, vehicle deployment, vehicle and driver performance monitoring, routes and scheduling as examples, it’s explained..

"We already have more than 500 buses connected to the Volvo Connected Services system today in Australia. Through this experience it has become very evident there are significant benefits for both the operator and Volvo to be gained by using this technology," said Downs. 

"In a recent example, an operator with a vehicle connected to Volvo’s Connected Services phoned their Volvo dealer to report a fault. The Volvo dealer was immediately able to look up the vehicle on the telematics system, remotely diagnose the fault, and set up a bay ready with the required parts for when the vehicle arrived. As a result the bus was back on the road within 15 minutes of arriving at the dealer.

"It is examples like this one that highlight the power and value of the tool, and why we want to connect all new Volvo buses," Downs said.

Globally, the Volvo Group view connectivity as one of the three core pillars, alongside electromobility and autonomy, for sustainable public transportation in the future, it’s stated.

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