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Daimler Trucks establishes global Autonomous Technology Group

Daimler Trucks is establishing the Autonomous Technology Group as a global organization for automated driving as of June 1.

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David Sickels is the Associate Editor of Tire Review and Fleet Equipment magazines. He has a history of working in the media, marketing and automotive industries in both print and online.

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Daimler Trucks announced that it will be establishing an Autonomous Technology Group, a global organization for automated driving, as of June 1.

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The main tasks of the new unit comprise overall strategy and implementation of the automated driving roadmap, including research and development as well as setting up the required operations infrastructure and network, heading towards the series production of highly automated trucks (SAE level 4).

Related: Want an exclusive look inside DTNA’s automated development? Click the link below to read our May issue’s cover story.

The Autonomous Technology Group is part of Daimler Trucks’ global effort to put highly automated trucks onto the roads within a decade. To achieve this, Daimler Trucks announced an investment of more than EUR 500 million (more than $570 million) at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

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Peter Vaughan Schmidt, who is currently head of strategy at Daimler Trucks, will lead the organization. In this position, he will continue to report directly to Martin Daum. Schmidt has 15 years of experience in the industry and in his previous position where he has been responsible for the development of Daimler Trucks’ strategy on automated vehicles.

Main activities of the new unit will include software development, chassis redundancy, sensor kit integration and operations infrastructure

Software development for highly automated driving will be one of the key activities of the Autonomous Technology Group. Another one will be the “vehicle project,” which will be responsible for the redundancy in the chassis enabling the vehicle’s systems to take over roles of a professional driver while on the road, providing the highest safety, while taking care of the automated driving sensor kit integration (camera, lidar, radar), which is responsible for ensuring that the highly automated truck finds its own way on the road. The operations infrastructure and network to be set up by the Autonomous Technology Group will consist of one main vehicle control center as well as additional stations at logistics hubs.

The Autonomous Technology Group will include experts working in various locations throughout the company’s worldwide development network, such as in Portland and Blacksburg (U.S.A.) and Stuttgart (Germany). Daimler says more locations will follow as the test fleet is built up and deployed. The Blacksburg-based company Torc Robotics will be part of the Autonomous Technology Group pending approval of the acquisition recently announced by Daimler Trucks. Torc Robotics will remain a separate entity and retain its name, team, existing customers and facilities in Blacksburg. In addition, the founders of Torc Robotics will continue to be part of the company’s management team.

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Related: DTNA will put Level 2 automated technology on the road this fall. Click the link below to discover how the technology works.

Daimler Trucks will continue to work on automated vehicle technology across the Daimler organization, including joint activities with car applications, for leveraging synergies. At the same time, truck specifications require own development activities due to the entirely different nature of the system (one-box vs. articulated) and focus on highway goods transportation vs. inner-city passenger transportation.

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