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As of the beginning of 2017, Volkswagen Truck & Bus will be offering an open and cloud-based 'operating system' for the entire transportation industry. It is a first that all players in the supply chain — shippers, dispatchers, carriers, drivers and recipients — will be connected with a uniform information and application system including forecasting features. Thanks to intelligent algorithms, RIO combines different sources of data and then analyses them.
Based on the combined information from tractors, trailers, bodies, drivers, and orders as well as combining this information with traffic, weather, or navigation data, RIO will provide its users with concrete recommendations for action in real time. This will significantly improve the transportation and reloading process. It will also significantly increase efficiency and transparency in the transportation ecosystem.
To this date, harnessing data within the transportation industry is often not possible due to the players involved who use different software systems e.g. different cargo and vehicle management systems. RIO is the first to offer a common platform and thus one that can be used regardless of the vehicle brand or telematics system. This means that fleet customers with mixed fleets can only use digital services in one single solution.
In addition, all vehicle types can be refitted without any difficulties. Systems that already exist and that are used as single solutions — e.g. for managing vehicle data, maintenance, keeping spare parts in stock or at the driver's disposition — can be transferred to a common platform. Andreas Renschler, CEO of VW Truck & Bus, commented: "Rio will fundamentally change the world of transportation as we know it. For the first time, our unified platform enables the registration, management, and integrated use of all data and information available in the transportation system. That is beneficial for our customers because it makes their business more profitable. And it is good for the environment, because we will see fewer empty trucks on the road. RIO will already be available in a few months. The future of transportation does not begin in 2025, but right here and now."
RIO is based on an MAN initiative and is managed by MAN's Digital Solutions function. The aim is to increase its customer's profitability. "What we can see emerging here is a platform where each user will benefit individually from its added value — regardless of how the fleet looks, which vehicle with which body is carrying the sales order, and which logistics software is used," said Joachim Drees, CEO of MAN Truck & Bus and Member of the Board of VW Truck & Bus. He emphasised: "Logistics 4.0 can only succeed if artificial barriers and data islands are overcome. That is why we are making every effort to support the development of RIO."
As of spring 2017, new MAN trucks will be equipped with RIO as standard; in addition, any Scania customer can connect with the platform on request. Using a refit box, any vehicle can be integrated into the network with an FMS interface. Here, RIO automatically receives updates at any time and easily via the cloud. Updates will be carried out around 40 times per year.