PROBLEM | OPPORTUNITY
Commercial truck manufacturer needed to improve their fleet’s efficiency and expand their customer offerings.
Designed and launched a user-centered digital platform integrating a complex system for optimization of data.
Significant increase in fleet efficiency, Beta deployment to 30,000 vehicles operated by 35 of the largest shippers in America, with plans for a full-market release serving 100,000 vehicles.
User Research, Interaction Design, Data Visualization
Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) is a leader in the American trucking business with 40% market share. However, their business has changed dramatically in the face of mounting competition and an increasingly restrictive regulatory environment. Their business model has gone from making and selling trucks (a product company) to making trucks and interacting with the fleet (a service company). Daimler is not alone in this. All truck manufacturers have realized the need to add value and differentiate, and many have realized that vehicles are getting smarter. There is, in fact, a considerable amount of data in every truck. The effort to track and leverage that data is known as fleet telematics.
When Daimler approached Ziba, they were on a fast track to productize a platform that would allow their customers to access and interact with all of the available data—in real time. The digital product we were tasked to develop (within a very aggressive timeline) needed to help their customers monitor every vehicles’ location, movement, and status, with the end goal of increasing vehicle safety, vehicle performance, and uptime; as well as reduce operating expenses, fuel costs, and downtime.
“Ziba is helping Daimler articulate and understand the needs of our customers, and acting as an extension of the telematics group, translating ideas into products.”
— Matt Pfaffenbach, Director of Connectivity, Daimler Trucks North America
Ziba’s plan of attack for designing the DTNA Telematics Portal began with getting a realworld understanding of what it takes to manage a fleet of vehicles. This involved interviews with a range of personnel from different trucking fleets, including maintenance personnel, executives, operations managers, and drivers, from different trucking fleets. This helped our designers gain a deep understanding of their needs and expectations. Our conversations also yielded a valuable insight: As their vehicles become more intelligent and autonomous, there is an increasing opportunity for Daimler to position themselves as critical, contributing members of the team.
Once we had this working hypothesis, we were able to immediately begin prototyping key aspects of the product, evaluating them with the same people who helped inform the vision. The customers. Through multiple rounds of rapid prototyping, Ziba was able to build a comprehensive product and an ongoing plan to ensure success. Ultimately, the portal was delivered on time and on budget, and deployed in July of 2016. To date, the system has been successfully deployed on more than 30,000 vehicles operated by 35 of the largest shippers in America.