Today’s Pickup: Third-generation Sprinter leverages IoT

The interior of the third-generation Sprinter. The van now offers Mercedes PRO, an Internet of Things connectivity platform.

The interior of the third-generation Sprinter. The van now offers Mercedes PRO, an Internet of Things connectivity platform.

Good day,

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz Vans brand has introduced its third-generation Sprinter van at an event in Stuttgart, Germany. The van features many of the iconic attributes it always has, but has added new connectivity to further improve its utilization, especially for fleets adapting to more flexible and urgent e-commerce delivery schedules.

The Sprinter’s new adVANce features include connectivity solutions that Daimler said is leading the large van segment into a new era. The third-generation van’s internet connectivity, unique scalability, silent electric drives and individual hardware solutions for the load compartment make it a strong competitor for customers to consider.

“The Sprinter is the flagship of our commercial fleet and embodies our approach towards an integrated system solution. Comprehensive industry-specific know-how, a vehicle that is adaptable to different transport requirements and innovative networking services add up to an all-embracing fully integral product offering. The Sprinter is the first example of this new class of vehicle from Mercedes-Benz Vans and represents our understanding of the concept of smart hardware in every respect,” said Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.

The van can be customized with over 1,000 different variants, Daimler said.

The van’s Mercedes PRO connect services turn the van into a vital part of the Internet of Things with simpler fleet control and optimized communications between fleet managers and drivers. PRO connect also provides vehicle status, vehicle logistics, fleet communications, maintenance management, accident recovery and a digital vehicle log. The web-based solution allows jobs to be managed online by connecting the fleet manager with all the drivers in the fleet. Vehicle location, fuel levels and maintenance intervals are also monitoring through PRO connect.

Did you know?

A National Association for Business Economics survey conducted Nov. 6-15 finds about half of economists expect tax and other fiscal policy changes to augment U.S. growth by 0.2 to 0.39 percentage points in 2018. The group is predicting 2.5% GDP growth in 2018.

Quotable:

“The hardworking people of this country are counting on us to deliver real relief. That means more jobs, faster economic growth, bigger paychecks, and a tax cut for Americans from all walks of life. These opportunities only come around once in a generation, and now it is time for us to seize this moment.”

- U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, on tax reform

In other news:

Manufacturing index slips slightly

The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index slipped to 58.2 in November on lighter inventories and a slower rate of order deliveries. A reading above 50 still indicates growth. (Wall Street Journal)

Auto sales continue decline

Following average auto sales for November, experts are predicting that U.S. auto sales for 2017 will fall below 2016’s record level, marking the first year-over-year decline since 2009. (USA Today)

Self-driving car bill stalls in Senate

The much-touted self-driving car bill working its way through Washington has run into speed bumps in the Senate and it is unclear if it will pass this year. (The Hill)

Supply chain tech was hot in 2017

There was plenty of tech news in 2017, from 3D printing, to AI, autonomous robots and trucks. (Logistics Viewpoints)

Mack looks to the West

Mack Trucks, freshly armed with its new Anthem long-haul tractor, is eyeing a bigger piece of the trucking pie in the West. (Heavy Duty Trucking)

Final Thoughts

A survey conducted by the National Association for Business Economics of leading economists had some interesting results. The survey found that while economist expect continued growth in 2018, they expect real GDP to increase 2.5%, but tax changes to have little effect. Also of note is that the majority expect a recession to begin sometime in 2019, although no specific reason is cited.

Hammer down everyone!

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