DHL's e-vehicles: How a connected product is changing logistics and delivery
The German logistics and delivery company famed for its yellow vans uses electric, connected cars for a more efficient postal system
Deutsche Post, a division of DHL, the logistics and postal company, uses a fully connected, electronic car to help deliver the post in Germany.
Read how a small team created the green vehicles that can predict when cars need maintenance and have helped improve DHL's efficiency by analysing data from the car's sensors.
1. DHL combines green energy with big data
DHL the logistics and postal company uses a fully connected, electric car to help deliver the post in Germany.
The cars use products from PTC, including the IoT platform it recently acquired, ThingWorx, to improve both its workflow and connectivity.
2. The founders
The first StreetScooter was built by Aachen University students in 2010 when they first "started to collect data from the car" they built over an 18 month period.
The business' five founders developed, designed and produced the customisable, affordable small distance e-vehicles with a focus on city driving and "last-mile" logistics.
The cars that Deutsche post uses are fitted with 30 sensors that talk to each other with StreetScooter’s car-to-car (C2C) box.
Currently 53 signals run from the car to the cloud and three loop back from the cloud to the car, StreetScooter told PTC's European LiveWorx conference on Tuesday.
Cars are connected through WLAN, UMTs, or a GPRS transmission through XMPP.
Pic credit: Martin Gommel
4. App to watch fleet travel in real-time
The new C2C app allows DHL to watch the 50-strong fleet in real-time on an interactive map through a web browser.
5. Created using ThingWorx
The first connectivity software prototype was developed in two weeks with ThingWorx, a platform which allowed the five-strong StreetScooter team to create applications so it can monitor current car information like battery status through a flexible user interface.
6. StreetScooter: the future
The company is working on remote settings so that the car can be “taught” how to automatically start charging when battery is low.
The DHL vans can currently reach 85km per hour.
It will offer a range from bikes up to large vans.