German automotive manufacturer Daimler has announced the formation of a global autonomous driving group from the 1st of June.
The group’s purpose will be to implement Daimler’s aim to have highly automated trucks on the road within a decade. To achieve that aim, they plan to invest around $570mn.
"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, the industry and society as well. With the new unit, we will maximize 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."
The group will centralise Daimler’s worldwide expertise and activities. Implementing their automated driving roadmap, which includes research and development as well as setting up the required infrastructure.
Peter Vaughan Schmidt, who is to head the group, said: "With the Autonomous Technology Group, we are bringing together our global experts and their vast knowledge in automated trucking. 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.A. 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."
Level 4 automated trucks are said to be highly automated, increasing safety as well as efficiency and productivity over their predecessors.