STUTTGART, Germany – Daimler Trucks has established a global organization for highly automated driving.
The Autonomous Technology Group will launch June 1, and will be headed by Peter Vaughan Schmidt. It will focus on putting SAE Level 4 autonomous trucks on the road within a decade, and is backed by a US$570 million investment.
“We are the pioneer for automated trucks,” said Martin Daum, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for trucks and buses. “With the formation of our global Autonomous Technology Group, we are taking the next step, underscoring the importance of highly automated driving for Daimler Trucks, and the industry and society as well.”
Daum said the new unit will “maximize the effectiveness of our automated driving efforts and the impact of our investments in this key strategic technology.”
Vaughan Schmidt, who will lead the group, is currently head of strategy for Daimler Trucks.
“With the Autonomous Technology Group, we are bringing together our global experts and their vast knowledge in automated trucking,” he said. “In the first stage, we will focus on use cases of highly automated driving in defined areas and between defined hubs in the U.S. In doing so, we will work closely together with customers whose business matches this automated driving application. We will not only develop the respective technology, but also set up the required operations infrastructure and network.”
Roger Nielsen, CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, added: “This new global organization will enable us to even stronger evolve the technology for highly automated driving and vehicle integration for heavy-duty trucks at our Automated Truck Research & Development Center in Portland. We’re fully committed to demonstrating the enormous advantages of highly automated driving first here in the U.S.”
The main activities of the unit will include: software development; chassis redundancy; sensor kit integration; and operations infrastructure. The new unit will include automated driving company Torc Robotics, which was recently acquired by Daimler. It will continue to be led by its current management team.
Daimler also said it will work closely with the passenger car division to leverage synergies.