Daimler Trucks used their Capital Market and Technology Day to reveal the plans for their new research and development center.
The new facility will open at Daimler’s North America headquarters on Swan Island in Portland, Oregon.
According to Robotics and Automation, this location will be focused on researching and improving autonomous vehicle production, as well as learning the effects it has on buyers and society as a whole.
Daimler has no plans to produce a line of fully automated vehicles any time soon. However, their technology development can be extremely useful in the near future. As freight demands rise, the need for truckers follows suit. Autonomous vehicle technology could help bring balance.
Daimler will acquire a solid understanding of the requirements for highly automated driving. They will use that knowledge to ensure that products being sent onto the roads adhere to those standards. The goal is to create a safer, more efficient driving environment.
The Oregon location will be a collaboration center where customers, suppliers, and business partners can all communicate ideas. This will help ensure the development of technology that consistently works better for everyone.
One benefit we have already seen come from Daimler’s automated trucking research is platooning. Radar and camera sensor systems collaborate with vehicle-to-vehicle communications and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. Braking is coordinated across platooned vehicles and steering is partially automated to keep trucks from veering into another lane.
As an example of how automated trucks can actually improve road safety, a following truck is able to brake in less than three-tenths of a second. This is much less than a human’s reaction time. This allows for closer following distances and better fuel economy.
Daimler is preparing for real-world platoon testing in the near future. They are collaborating with top customers to make sure that platooning is what the commercial freight industry really needs.
Roger Nielsen, president and CEO of DTNA, has high hopes for the technology set to come from Daimler’s new facility.
“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,” Nielsen said. “We are again aiming for a fully integrated, proven Daimler solution that will provide the best tool for our customers’ needs.”