The new ZF Bus Connect platform, launched last year, has been implemented by various fleet and OEM customers. The system monitors vehicles and fleets using on-board units, then combines, analyses, and displays this information to operators via one web-based portal. Therefore, customers can check every aspect of the vehicle, including live view of vehicle locations, observe fuel consumption, check the status of battery charge or maintain status of the vehicles parts, brake wear and other system messages.

Taking a look at a global picture, consulting firm Future Market Insights (FMI) forecasted in late 2020 that “strengthening of predictive maintenance is expected to launch the vehicle maintenance and diagnostics segment from its current value of US$2.9bn to US$6.3bn by 2030”. According to McKinsey (before Covid outbreak), “the global market for fleet telematics hardware, software, and services is forecast to grow at around 23 percent per annum for six years, becoming a $75 billion industry by 2025“.

zf bus connect

The platform has been developed for city buses and coaches with both electric and combustion engines or hybrid systems also in a mixed fleet.

With ZF Bus Connect we are helping the bus operators with their difficult change to all-electric fleets and also improve the operation of the combustion vehicles within the fleet with the power of data-analytics of in-vehicle data we are helping operators to manage their fleet efficiently by reducing the energy or fuel consumption whilst giving a clear overview to the CO2 footprint of the fleet

Aleš Hejl, Global Head of Sales, Connectivity Solutions

ZF Bus Connect: a look at the features

The goal of the ZF Bus Connect platform is reducing maintenance costs and improving uptime by setting up automatic alerts for vehicle conditions and diagnostic error codes. Predictive remote detection of damages has the consequence to reduce downtime. Safety is another goal: tracking vehicles speeds and aggressive driving styles through the generated data, geofencing and ZF embedded sensors in the gateway is among the feature of ZF Bus Connect platform. This allows to prevent accidents and to protect against theft. Last but not least, efficiency is at the core of the platform: live data evaluation on a per-bus basis allows optimization of driving and route plans and improves fuel consumption.

The architecture of the digital solution ZF Bus Connect is divided into three areas: the On-board Unit (ZF VCU pro), the ZF Bus Connect Portal with newly released mobile app (IOS & Android) and the ZF Bus Connect Cloud

FleetFleet operators have the possibility to purchase this all-in-one solution and choose one of the software packages ZF Bus Connect offers or have a partially specific solution with 3rd parties integrations like ITCS providers or other telematics providers. Because Bus Connect can send telematics data to and receive also from 3rd party suppliers in the market. This makes Bus Connect able to serve almost all of the use case in the market, ZF highlights.

A cross-divisional team behind ZF Bus Connect

Launched in July 2021, ZF Bus Connect is developed by the cross-divisional team Venture Speedboat, coming from the ZF Data Venture Accelerator (DVACC).

The latter, in a few words, is a worldwide hub for digital business within ZF’s global research and development. The first DVACC project to reach the market is indeed the venture “Bus & OEM Digital Solutions” with their product ZF Bus Connect.

ZF Bus Connect on Karsan e-range

OEMs can use the system to ensure smooth deployment of electric buses and at the same time for continuous product improvement.

In this concern, Turkish bus manufacturer Karsan is the latest business partner with ZF as Connectivity Solutions provider, with the goal of managing the bus fleets in a holistic environment. Export markets are the main target of Karsan: CEO Okan Baş stated that 70% of 2021 turnover of the company is attributable to export activities.

ZF Bus Connect, a comprehensive fleet management solution has been nominated as the Connectivity Solutions Partner of Karsan Automotive for the e-ATA Fully Electrical Bus Line-Up. We plan on collaborating on a broad list of features, such as tracking the fleet in real-time, getting a detailed overview of energy consumption, evaluating vehicles in certain events and inspecting vehicle health.

Karsan’s team

In March this year Karsan announced it has single-handedly realized almost 90% of Turkey’s exports of electric minibuses and buses with its more than 450 electric vehicles touring 19 different countries, including North America, Italy, Luxemburg, France, Romania, Portugal, Norway, Spain, Mexico for the last three years. Now Karsan has set the goal of achieving an at least three-fold growth with their e-range vehicles. Also, in September 2022 Karsan launched the first hydrogen bus of Turkey.

ZF and Karsan teams together at InnoTrans

Real-Time Tracking, SoC Monitoring, Data Logging, and Remote Diagnostics are all topics covered by the ZF Bus Connect system.

These data will build the way to feed Karsan’s R&D, Sales and Aftersales Teams for improving both technical and commercial aspects. In addition, Karsan will become ready to offer fleet-specialized telematics feature to its own customers like Public Fleet Operators. Precise and accurate commercial and technical reports are going to be essential for getting continuous and reliable feedback from the city bus fleets that are in daily operation

Danny Kerkvliet, Head of Product Management, Connectivity Solutions


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