Scania launches vehicle app to support driver training
As the level of complexity increases with each new generation of coach, Scania GB has majored on driver training as part of its established customer support programme.
Now, it is taking its training to a new level with the imminent launch of a mobile phone app designed to act as an easily-accessed vehicle handbook, ideal for operators and their drivers.
Developed over six months, and based on a successful concept introduced by Scania for its truck range, the new app is initially focused on the two-axle and three-axle Touring coach.
Bodied by Higer in China, the Touring was selected because it is relatively new in Great Britain, unlike Scania’s Spanish-bodied Irizar range, while the OmniExpress bodied in Finland is no longer in production and is shortly to be replaced by the Interlink.
Guided by Steve Dunk, Scania Driver Trainer Bus & Coach, the team behind the app include Tim Shawcross, who provides the voiceover, and video expert Ian Woodley. Between them they identified 27 areas of the coach and produced individual video clips to explain their operation in straightforward non-technical terms.
Available for Android or iPhone, the app includes video clips that are accessed via a simple tap.
The app has already received the thumbs-up from Scania’s Training School, while the manufacturer’s dealerships are also expected to reap the benefit.
Although the app acts as a useful driver’s guide, Steve Dunk is at pains to explain that it is not designed to replace the personalised handbook that is presented to the owner of each new Scania coach. However, he expects its success to lead to other coach models to be included, while Scania’s bus range is likely to follow.
Mr Dunk said: “The aim is education. We know from experience that there are occasions when an operator, or indeed a dealer, will report a fault when the real problem is a lack of familiarity with a new model.”
He cited the toilet controls on the Touring as an example. Whereas Irizar-bodied coaches have one button to control the discharge of waste material, the Touring has four buttons, leading to potential confusion.
The app compensates not only for a lack of familiarity, but also confusion on first acquaintance with items such as the heating controls, which are often a nightmare for drivers.
The shortest video clip is a brief look at the master switch, but others can be more than five minutes in length, including explanations of lane departure, and adaptive cruise control. Although the longest clip covers the limp-home mode, Scania’s experience shows that this function is rarely needed.
Altogether the 27 clips provide a comprehensive look at all aspects of the Touring that are relevant to the driver, yet the nature of the app means that it is extremely adaptable to individual requirements – whether it’s the infrequent requirement to understand the particulate filter regeneration process, or the rather more fundamental guide to the Stoneridge tachograph common to Scania coaches.
Expect the app to be launched as soon as Scania has taken account of all its post-development feedback.