A development team at Daimler Trucks is working on a project using the truck to pay for items like road tolls, fuel, subcontractors and other bills. The project has developed the ability of trucks to autonomously communicate with other machines and carry out legally-binding transactions.
With the newly created digital Truck-ID and the associated Truck Wallet, the team at Daimler Trucks have now created the appropriate prerequisites as part of a pilot project. In an initial use case, the developers have joined forces with partners and successfully carried out an automatic payment at an electric charging station.
Trucks can identify themselves to other machines using their Truck-ID as if they had their own integrated ID card and can thus provide a unique signature for specific processes. Truck-ID and Truck Wallet, which are both currently still in the prototype phase, use a cryptographic processor, which is part of the Truck Data Centre, the central telematics control unit of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros.
“With Truck-ID and Truck Wallet, we have laid the foundation for autonomous interaction between trucks and other machines, a true technological milestone,” says Dr Helge Königs, Head of the Truck Wallet project at Daimler Trucks. “Our aim is that, in future, trucks will be able to act on their own behalf in various fields of application.
“Drivers can then concentrate more on their actual driving tasks and haulage firms benefit from a significant reduction in administration work and more secure processes. This renders it practically impossible to carry out such things as fuel card scams whereby criminals copy a fuel card and spy on the PIN number being entered. Also in terms of highly automated trucks, our prototypes show the direction in which such further developments can go.”
Just like a real wallet, the Truck Wallet can hold cash using the truck to pay for payments and additional cards such as fuel cards and loyalty cards, though all in digital form. The electronic information, which also includes any cash added, is stored directly in the Truck Wallet and can then be transferred to other machines by means of a Wi-Fi connection. This process is secured by means of checks on an online system.
The Truck-ID digitally signs all processes of the Truck Wallet and serves as a confirmation that the transactions were actually made with the corresponding truck. In conjunction with specific telematics data which is additionally stored, such as the current location of the truck, this system offers logistics companies and their business partners a high level of protection against scams.