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Daimler developing multi-marque car sharing solution

Daimler is launching technology that could underpin a multi-marque car sharing solution for fleets, powered by its Connect Business telematics system.

The new connectivity solution will streamline efficiency for fleets

The new connectivity solution will streamline efficiency for fleets

Set to launch in the UK in Q4 this year, Connect Business – which operates as a standalone organisation under the Daimler portfolio – builds on the Mercedes Me app, which launched in the C-Class and S-Class back in 2014, but enables fleet operators and leasing companies to take advantage of data from the car, according to Robert Morris, national fleet operations manager, Mercedes-Benz Cars UK.

This will mean it can offer all the usual telematics functions, including live maintenance, driver behaviour, mileage logs and route planning information, as well as enabling fleets to send messages direct to the car’s dashboard screen, controlled via a web-based back office. The service will also be able to output raw data, which leasing and fleet management companies can utilise.

Connect Business uses built-in technology from Daimler products, or an adaptor for other vehicles – customers will be able to choose from three levels of connectivity, depending on the functions needed, Morris said.

At the most connected end of that spectrum, the system will be able to underpin corporate car sharing for fleets, and white-label rental operations for the carmaker’s partners in that sector. The car sharing solution will be keyless, unlike the consumer-focused Car2Go-derived technology used in the new A-Class, Morris said.

In turn it means Connect Business can offer a similar proposition to BMW Group’s AlphaCity service, which also provides the vehicles as well as the technology and was recently expanded to include other marques, including vans.

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.