Mercedes-Benz is planning to lead the commercial vehicle sector into a new digital era with the launch of the 2018 Sprinter in February.
The new model will boast a suite of connected services which promise to give fleet managers total transparency of their vehicles.
A built in communications module will relay real-time information between the vehicle and fleet manager, while also allowing integration of third-party software.
Using Mercedes Pro Connect, a user can view vehicle status, vehicle logistics, fleet communications, maintenance management, accident recovery and a digital vehicle log.
By virtue of its networking capability, the new Sprinter forms part of a system which links job data with the vehicle and provides for efficient routing. The ‘Fleet Communication’ service enables drivers to be informed about job changes and duly rerouted while on the road.
The third generation of the Sprinter will be revealed in February 2018. Its internet connection hardware is deeply integrated as an integral part of the vehicle's infrastructure for the first time.
This establishes an essential prerequisite for innovative sector-specific services and solutions and their ongoing development in the future.
"The integration into the Internet of Things opens up a wealth of new possibilities with regard to process optimisation measures and efficiency improvements. We will be offering initial networking services at the market launch of the new Sprinter and subsequently expanding our portfolio and continually adapting it to our customers' requirements and business models," said Dr Ulf Zillig, overall Sprinter project manager at Mercedes-Benz-Vans.
Mercedes-Benz Vans' integrated strategy also covers the area of electric drives. All commercial model series are to be electrified in the coming years, starting with the eVito, which became available for ordering a few days ago and will be available in the second half of 2018. The eVito will be followed by the eSprinter in 2019.
"The Sprinter is the flagship of our commercial fleet and defines our understanding of an integrated system solution. Comprehensive industry-specific know-how, a vehicle that is precisely adaptable to different transport requirements and innovative networking services add up to an all-embracing fully integral product offering. The Sprinter is the first embodiment of this new class of vehicle from Mercedes-Benz Vans and addresses the need for smart hardware," said Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.