VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV) has announced the introduction of connected vehicle technology on its complete commercial line-up in India. The Eicher Motors group company has developed the new Eicher LIVE connected vehicle technology that will be available on the brand's buses and trucks from August 1, 2020, making it an industry-first initiative in the CV space. The new CV range is built on the manufacturer's EUTECH6 platform that debuted earlier this year, transitioning from BS4 to BS6 emission regulations. Eicher will offer free data connectivity for the first two years and there will be no changes in the ex-showroom price of the vehicles. The company plans to partner with telecom service providers to provide data connectivity to customers after the first two years with charges likely around ₹ 4,000-5,000 per annum.
Commenting on the announcement, Vinod Aggarwal, Managing Director & CEO, VECV said, "The unique proposition of connected vehicles is a significant step towards modernising the CV industry. Starting with Eicher Live, then the uptime centre and now with 100 per cent connected vehicles, we are closing the loop on providing a connected ecosystem for tomorrow, which is driven by the BS6 wave. These offerings will not only reduce the operational cost by maximising fuel efficiency but will also increase revenue through improved asset utilisation with superior uptime. It will also offer better safety and logistical efficiency to our partners and customers. Large fleet customers who have high demands of fuel efficiency, safety and driving behaviour as critical elements will be able to maximise their productivity and profitability. This technology will not only benefit the big logistics players but also the last mile vehicles as effectively."
VECV says the new Eicher LIVE connected technology help improve the operating costs on the vehicles with owners equipped with better ability to track their fleet. The company says the new solution will help with fuel savings by up to 10 per cent, along with better fleet management, asset utilisation, and logistics efficiency. The improved uptime and logistics efficiency will help owners maximise profits from their trucks. The Eicher LIVE tech can be retrofitted on BS4 models as well.
The Eicher LIVE connected trucks and buses will also get the Uptime Centre support further providing 24x7 assistance to customers in case of repairs, roadside assistance, or location tracking. The Uptime Centre also preempts service intervals or potential mechanical failures and will inform the fleet operator accordingly. The solution is intended to minimise downtime and service costs for customers. Eicher Motors telematics system is fully integrated with the vehicle's electronics and uses a host of sensors fitted to generate large amounts of data that helps understand the truck or bus in a better fashion.
The connected vehicle tech on the BS6 Eicher trucks and buses comes as a value addition with the line-up witnessing a price increase by eight to 15 per cent. The automaker says the acquisition cost on BS6 vehicles has gone up by about 20 per cent but the new fleet also offers better fuel-efficiency, productivity and less downtime, all of which contribute to a significantly lower operating cost over BS4 vehicles.
Eicher says it expects CV sales to see a spike once again from September-October onwards this year, while a full recovery coincided by a healing economy is only expected in 2021. The company is currently operating its production facilities at 25-30 per cent capacity, owing to the social distancing regulations and low demand.