Daimler Trucks is doubling down on its investment in automated truck research with plans to build a new, dedicated facility in Portland, Ore.
The company announced plans for its Automated Truck Research and Development Center at its Daimler Trucks Capital Market and Technology Day June 6.
Plans call for the facility to be built next to Daimler Trucks North America LLC’s headquarters in Portland.
Daimler Trucks plans to invest more than $2.9 billion in automated truck research and development in 2018-19, according to a news release. More than $589 million of that amount is earmarked for e-mobility, connectivity and automated commercial vehicle technology.
The center will be dedicated to further developing automated driving technology and understanding its impact on society and benefits for customers, according to a news release. Daimler engineers at the new facility will draw on Daimler resources in Stuttgart, Germany, and Bangalore, India.
While Daimler Trucks said it does not expect autonomous commercial trucks to be mass-produced soon. However, the technology has the potential “to create numerous advantages for the global logistics industry by helping fleets to keep up with ever-increasing freight demands as the pool of long-haul truck drivers continues to decrease,” according to a news release.
Daimler showed off its expertise with automated trucks and platooning at the event during an exhibition at Portland International Raceway. The company said it was preparing for the first real-world test of platooning. Daimler aims “to validate the practicality of hauling commercial freight with platooned vehicles,” according to a news release.
New electric Freightliners
Also at the conference, Daimler Trucks introduced two fully electrified commercial Freightliner models: a Freightliner eCascadia heavy-duty truck and a Freightliner eM2 106 medium-duty truck.
The company also announced plans deliver an Electric Innovation Fleet of 30 Freightliner vehicles to customers this year to further test the vehicles under real-world operating conditions.
The eCascadia has up to 730 peak horsepower, according to a news release. The batteries provide 550 Kwh of usable capacity, a range of up to 250 miles and have the ability to charge up to 80 percent (providing a range of 200 miles) in about 90 minutes. The Class 8 tractor is designed for local and regional distribution and drayage.
The eM2 has up to 480 peak horsepower, according to a news release. The batteries provide 325 Kwh of usable capacity, a range of up to 230 miles and have the ability to charge up to 80 percent (providing a range of 184 miles) in about 60 minutes. The eM2 is intended for local deliveries.
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