Omniplus: digitisation opens up new possibilities for maximum vehicle availability, fleet management, and communication

Jul 10, 2018
Mainz / Stuttgart
  • Omniplus On: digital services for Mercedes-Benz and Setra
  • Three pillars for maximum vehicle availability, fleet management, and communication
  • Services at the highest level – including for the eCitaro

Comprehensive service for all Mercedes-Benz and Setra coaches and buses: Available from Omniplus, the service brand of Daimler Buses. With more than 600 service outlets in Europe, Omniplus offers a unique, full-coverage specialist service network for buses and coaches. Innovative services are added continuously - now also including digital offerings. They are all bundled in a clear arranged way on the Internet portal Omniplus On. Omniplus On integrates both existing as well as new offerings. In future, bus operators will have personalised access to all the services they subscribe to via just one portal. Service for buses and coaches becomes digital with Omniplus On, and opens up entire new possibilities for bus operators and drivers thanks to connectivity.

Omniplus On: Three pillars for maximum vehicle availability, fleet management, and communication

Omniplus On initially rests on three pillars:

  • Omniplus On advance ensures maximum fleet availability for bus operators, for example with the revolutionary service Omniplus Uptime for continuously monitoring the relevant vehicle systems in real time
  • Omniplus On monitor combines the telematics services for efficient fleet management
  • Finally, Omniplus On drive ensures the communication between driver and company, and helps the driver with the required daily departure check

Customers of the current model variants of the Mercedes‑Benz Citaro, Conecto and CapaCity, the current Mercedes‑Benz Tourismo as well as all Setra touring coaches of the ComfortClass 500 and TopClass 500 model series benefit from Omniplus On. As of this year, all of these buses and coaches will be equipped with the "Bus Data Center" telematics box as standard. It serves as the transfer unit for the host of data. The users of Omniplus On are guided by a clearly arranged menu navigation on the computer at the office or on a laptop, tablet and smartphone.

Omniplus On advance: Omniplus Uptime for maximum availability of the vehicle fleet

A bus can only earn money when it's in use. This is ensured by the revolutionary service Omniplus Uptime, which thinks ahead. Omniplus demonstrates new possibilities of connectivity with the Uptime service. Omniplus Uptime creates transparency about the technical condition of the fleet and planning certainty concerning downtime in the workshop, prevents breakdowns and leads to an overall improvement in vehicle availability.

Omniplus Uptime continuously monitors the status of vehicle systems in real time. This includes all the technical features equipped with sensors whose information is available in the data bus system. All in all, Omniplus Uptime monitors around 30 components and functions, including doors, engine management and emission control.

The data are continuously analysed and interpreted on a specially protected Daimler server. The evaluations are based on bus-specific algorithms developed from the long years of experience of bus experts. If the need for repairs or maintenance becomes apparent, a message is automatically sent to the bus operator, and depending on urgency, also to the authorised service outlet. This allows bundling required repairs with the maintenance, and scheduling them on a specific date.

If there are impending severe technical malfunctions, the bus operator is immediately called by Omniplus 24h Service, and is also informed via the Omniplus On portal. This already includes concrete and qualified recommended actions. If needed, Omniplus finds a suitable workshop and organises the repair. This can prevent unplanned stops and keep urgent workshop visits to a minimum.

An example from the testing phase illustrates the advantages of Omniplus Uptime in practice. If the message "Emission control system malfunction – visit workshop", appears on the central display, the malfunction can have exactly 185 different causes. At present, the driver or customer has to decide, whether he interrupts the run in this situation or whether to continue risking a vehicle breakdown. If he does interrupt the run, there is a risk that the visited workshop does not have any free capacity for fixing the problem or the needed spare parts are not in stock.

Omniplus Uptime changes the situation. After the malfunction message, the company is contacted by Omniplus 24h Service within minutes and informed about the specific malfunction. If the problem is a malfunctioning emission control box due to a damaged temperature sensor, the company is told that the driver has to visit a workshop within the next ten hours. Optionally, Omniplus 24h Service helps the operator to find a suitable workshop along the route and checks, whether this workshop has the required parts in stock or it organises the parts shipment. This allows the driver to continue his run and then visit a workshop perfectly prepared for the repair.

Moreover, Omniplus Uptime also reveals inattentiveness while driving, e.g. failure to perform a particulate filter regeneration or a constantly inadequate tyre pressure. These could lead to increased costs and wear, and cause a breakdown. The company receives information to this effect in these cases as well.

Omniplus On monitor: telematics services for efficient fleet management

You achieve maximum efficiency if you have control of your fleet in every detail. Telematics is an indispensable aid in this regard. Fuel consumption and the analysis of operating data of individual buses or the entire fleet, driver card download – these and more are the professional tools for it.

Standard services provide an overview of the fleet

Free standard services already provide operators with a great deal of useful information, ensuring transparent fleet operations. For example, these services indicate the fuel saving potential of the bus fleet using current fuel consumption figures and driving styles, the mileage of the bus fleet and the current locations of the buses. The information can be viewed in the Omniplus On portal, both on the desktop as well as the mobile version. This means that bus operators also have the basic data for their fleet available outside the workplace.

The expansion and enhancement of these services at Omniplus On monitor is already on the drawing board. This is to make it possible in future to tailor the services for efficient fleet operations even more specifically to the bus customers.

Omniplus On drive: support for the driver, communication with the company

Omniplus On looks out for both the operator and the driver equally, as Omniplus On drive shows. A host of functions supports the driver while ensuring his communication with the company. Departure check. online operator's manual, damage reports, messages from the company – a new digital world is opening up here.

Remote Bus: accessing vehicle functions on the smartphone

Major vehicle functions are also monitored by the Remote Bus App. This includes the tyre pressure of each wheel, diesel and AdBlue levels, the locking status of the luggage compartment flaps and monitoring all the exterior lights for all touring coaches. Since spring 2018, the driver has been able to access these figures at any time on a smartphone, e.g. after taking a break. It is available for iOS and Android.

Bus Guides: mobile access to operating instructions

Finding instead of searching: Maintenance histories, operating instructions and additional information about Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses can be accessed via a mobile website version. Bus Guides is continuously updated, so that up-to-date information is always clearly available.

Pre-departure check and damage logging support drivers and operators

Omniplus On drive also supports bus drivers in their day-to-day duty, the pre-departure check. During this check the driver must verify all the vehicle's major functions, such as the lighting, the operating fluid levels and the completeness of on-board equipment. Omniplus On drive assists the driver by providing a checklist guiding him through the entire check procedure. Every single item is documented. The driver can record defects in writing and by photo, and send the information to the operator by mouse-click together with the check-up log. The operator therefore has evidence that the pre-pre-departure check has been correctly carried out. This also means that steps can be taken to remedy any faults.

Drivers can also use Omniplus On drive to document any potential damage incurred on a tour. These reports are stored, and can be viewed and processed by the operator in the Omniplus On portal.

Conversely, the operator can also give its drivers specific information via Omniplus On drive. For example if the itinerary of the current tour should change. The operator can also pass on general information, ensuring that currently absent drivers are also kept informed.

Omniplus 24h Service on 365 days a year

Digitisation also aids and boosts the classic services of the Omniplus service brand. They will continue to be at the highest level and will also be expanded further. Should a bus or coach break down, the Omniplus 24h Service is available around the clock in conjunction with one of the service cards. With its high-quality service outlets and standardised repair processes, Omniplus ensures that a bus or coach is repaired promptly to a high standard and on fair terms. Customers are able to access the service at any time of day or night, 365 days a year, via a free hotline.

The breakdown service responds as the situation requires: the driver notifies the Omniplus 24h Service of the international control centre in their national language. They inform the nearest service outlet. A mechanic is immediately dispatched to the vehicle. Things are even easier now with the Omniplus On service: the vehicle automatically reports in and sends its exact location and all diagnostics data to the service organisation Omniplus 24h Service. The aim is to even prevent a potential breakdown thanks to early warnings and preventive servicing.

Omniplus ServiceCard Basic and Premium: two-stage concept

The Omniplus ServiceCard Premium is available free of charge to Mercedes-Benz and Setra bus customers. It has a validity of two years. Customers who can do without some parts of the extensive service package can opt for the Omniplus ServiceCard Basic. This is valid for no less than six years, and includes the Basic mobility package. With this, Mercedes-Benz and Setra bus customers are able to obtain certain services quickly, easily and without cash payment, including regular servicing.

Service contracts made to measure: Basic, BasicPlus and Premium

Operators who attach importance to a fleet in peak condition and calculable costs opt for a service contract. The BasicPlus package includes all necessary maintenance work as specified in the service booklet, plus selected wear-related repairs. The Premium package additionally includes all other repairs to the vehicle as a whole, with defined exclusions such as tyre replacement or physical damage. Also included in the Premium service contract is the 24h Service module. This covers a large number of services in the event of a breakdown. In short: customers receive maintenance, repair and emergency services as a complete package.

Omniplus also offers service contracts for late-model pre-owned Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses and coaches. They are based on the gold classification issued by the BusStore pre-owned bus brand. The Basic service contract covers maintenance only, while BasicPlus with manufacturer-prescribed maintenance also includes the replacement of defined wear parts.

Genuine replacement parts now straight from the printer

As a manufacturer brand, Omniplus genuine parts are standard parts for Mercedes-Benz and Setra. Tight tolerances, high dimensional accuracy and tested materials are a matter of course. This means OEM quality. Genuine remanufactured parts for Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses save money without compromising quality. They are carefully reprocessed, resulting in the same quality as a new part.

Omniplus also uses the advantages of 3D printing for replacement parts. To date, numerous components for customer vehicles have already been printed. Omniplus is currently examining more than 2000 potential bus spare parts for 3D printability. Every 3D component can later be reordered by the customer according to its specific part number. It is available in the digital warehouse worldwide even decades later, with extensive physical stocking no longer being necessary.

BestAge Repair: keeping buses and coaches fit to run longer

Buses and coaches that have been on the road for many years require repairs and touch-ups to maintain their value every now and then. This calls for classic services on special terms, which is where a new programme from Omniplus comes in: "BestAge Repair" services at a cost that reflects the bus's current value. This includes genuine parts for older model series, and genuine remanufactured parts for the inexpensive replacement of wearing parts.

Maintenance and retrofitting is another segment, along with the upgrading and care of older buses and coaches. This may involve updating the passenger compartment, for example with new fabrics or fresh seat cushions, or upgrading the bodywork as part of the Omniplus SmallRepair service (fixing minor or cosmetic damage).

Omniplus training – the right training for every job

The Omniplus services are rounded off with continuing education for drivers and training courses for workshop personnel. The courses offer a good balance between theory and practice, and are taught by experienced and qualified trainers. Fitting example: Omniplus safety training celebrates its 25-year anniversary this year. Some 18,000 drivers have received training since 1993 – added safety that benefits drivers, passengers, operators and all road users in general.