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Daimler launches autonomous vehicle global organisation for US market

Commercial vehicle manufacturer, Daimler Trucks, has announced it will launch a global organisation for automated driving on 1 June for the U.S. market.

Headed by Peter Vaughan Schmidt, who is currently head of strategy Daimler Trucks, the Autonomous Technology Group is a new, global and cross-divisional organisation backed by a $570 million investment.

The group will be responsible for Daimler's overall strategy and implementation of its automated driving blueprint.

In addition to its research and development, the Autonomous Technology Group has been charged with establishing the network and operations infrastructure for producing SAE level 4 trucks, at present the highest rated automated commercial vehicles in the industry.

"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.," said Schmidt in an official statement.

"In doing so, we will work closely together with customers whose business matches this automated driving application," he said.

"We will not only develop the respective technology but also set up the required operations infrastructure and network."

In 2015 Daimler revealed its first self-steering American autonomous truck the Freightliner Inspiration, an 18 wheeler which preceded the more recent vehicles running on Level 2 automated technology such as the Mercedes-Benz Actros and Fuso Super Great both of which feature Active Drive Assist.

According to Martin Daum, Daimler Board of Management, the company is taking the next step as a pioneer of automated trucks with the global Autonomous Technology Group.

"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," he said.

"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."

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