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Daimler Trucks has this month established an Autonomous Technology Group as a global organisation for automated driving, bringing together its worldwide expertise and activities.
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.
The newly-established Autonomous Technology Group is part of Daimler Trucks’ global effort to put highly-automated trucks onto the roads within a decade.
Martin Daum, a member of the board of management of Daimler AG responsible for Trucks & Buses, said: “We’re the pioneer for automated trucks. 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, the industry and society as well.
“With the new unit, we will maximise the effectiveness of our automated driving efforts and the impact of our investments in this key strategic technology. We will therefore be in the perfect position to put highly-automated driving onto the roads, making transportation safer, saving lives and helping trucking companies boost their productivity.”
To achieve this, Daimler Trucks announced an investment of more than BD215m at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Dr Peter Vaughan Schmidt, who is currently head of Strategy Daimler Trucks, will lead this new, global and cross-divisional organisation.
He has 15 years of experience in the industry and in his previous position, he has been responsible for the development of Daimler Trucks’ strategy on automated vehicles. and said: “We will not only develop the respective technology but also set up the required operations infrastructure and network.”
In this position, he will continue to report directly to Martin.
Software development for highly automated driving will be one of the key activities of the Autonomous Technology Group.
Another one will be the so-called vehicle project: On the one hand, the vehicle project 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.
On the other hand, the vehicle project will take care of the automated driving sensor kit integration (camera, lidar, radar), which – together with a very accurate map – 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 group – another key activity – will consist of one main vehicle control centre as well as additional stations at logistics hubs.
In 2014, the world’s leading truck manufacturer presented the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025, the world’s first automated truck, and was the first to demonstrate the technological opportunities and great potential that automated trucks offer the economy and society.
The following year, Daimler’s Freightliner Inspiration Truck obtained the first-ever road license for a partially automated commercial vehicle, and the world premiere of the Mercedes-Benz Actros with Highway Pilot took place on public roads.
The new system can independently brake, accelerate and steer. Unlike systems that only work above a certain speed, Active Drive Assist / Detroit Assurance 5.0 make partially automated driving possible for the driver in all speed ranges, also another first in a series-production truck.
This revolutionary active lateral and longitudinal assistance package features a new state-of-the art radar and camera fusion system.