PORTLAND, Ore. – Daimler Trucks announced today the creation of an Automated Truck Research and Development Center, which will be located at its new headquarters in Portland, Ore.
The new center will be dedicated to further developing automated driving technology, and understanding its impact on society as well as the benefits for customers. It will be part of a global network, including R&D centers in Stuttgart, Germany, and Bangalore, India. Daimler says hundreds of engineers at those locations will be dedicated to the topic of automated driving.
The announcement was made during Daimler Trucks Capital Market and Technology Day, which brought together investors and trade media.
“We are pioneering technologies across the automated vehicle spectrum that make roads safer and help trucking companies boost productivity,” said Sven Ennerst, head of truck product engineering, global procurement, and Daimler Trucks China. “This center of excellence is part of our global innovation network and supports the Daimler Trucks ethos of rigorously testing new technologies, ensuring systems are developed safely and functionality is fully validated before it is released to customers.”
Daimler, however, pointed out it doesn’t believe driverless – or fully autonomous – trucks will replace drivers anytime soon. But the technology, it claims, can benefit fleets and help them meet ever-increasing freight demands as the ability to attract and retain quality drivers remains a challenge.
The new research center will focus on all aspects of development, testing, and validation of high levels of automation.
“Our approach to developing highly automated driving technology will draw upon our proven expertise and long history of commercializing safe, reliable, and fully integrated commercial vehicles,” said Roger Nielsen, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America. “We are again aiming for a fully integrated, proven Daimler solution that will provide the best tool for our customers’ needs. We can accomplish this with a combination of vehicle road testing over millions of miles around the globe and advanced simulation. The global collaboration that takes place among research and development teams at Daimler extends to vans, buses and passenger cars, and each advancement is a building block for the future of automated vehicles.”