“How are my batteries doing? “Great!”
Next spring, Volvo Buses will establish a new Monitoring Centre for remote monitoring of battery performance in its customers’ hybrid buses. And remote monitoring of more functions will be introduced in the longer term. The aim is to offer operators maximum uptime and trouble-free ownership.
“Remote monitoring of a vehicle enables us to quickly determine if something is wrong and notify the customer of the problem in good time. Continuous access to operating data also makes it easier to optimise the service and maintenance requirements of every bus,” explains Volvo Buses’ Gösta Andersson, project owner and initiator of the new service.
Remote monitoring of the batteries is part of the Volvo Buses hybrid battery contract and gold contract for new hybrid buses with Euro 6 engines:
“It’s no coincidence that we are starting with the hybrids. We want to build up competence in the new technology, and we offer both customers and service workshops better reliability through the high quality of our support,” adds Gösta Andersson.
In purely practical terms, remote battery monitoring means that important data regarding the hybrid system and batteries, including charge status, temperature and voltage, is recorded continuously by the hybrid system software and transmitted by means of the on-board telematics to Volvo Action Service personnel based at a newly established Monitoring Centre. If deviations from normal performance are recorded, the bus may be taken out of service for troubleshooting and any problems corrected without unnecessary downtime.
The battery monitoring concept is the product of a year-long development project in which Volvo Buses collaborated with the service development experts at the Service Design & Business Engineering department of Volvo Group’s Trucks Technology unit. The technology was tested with satisfactory results in 25 of the hybrid buses in service in Gothenburg.
“The establishment of a Monitoring Centre represents a strategically important step that opens the way for greater use of remote monitoring. The data we collect will form an experience bank that will help sales personnel and service technicians to offer their customers added value. The aim is to achieve 100 percent reliability,” says Christina Stenman Jörgensen, project manager at the Service Design & Business Engineering department.