Nielsen: A Sneak Peek at Automated Driving

via LinkedIn, September 21, 2018

At DTNA, along with our recent advancements in e-mobility and connected services, we’re also focusing on automated driving, an important third pillar of our technology strategy. Soon, we’ll be expanding our team and facilities by opening a new Automated Truck Research & Development Center in Portland, Oregon, near our headquarters. Here’s a quick look at our ongoing, expanding efforts into the leading edges of automated vehicle technology. If you have an engineering background and a desire to change to world with innovative new technology, send a resume and letter of interest to [email protected], but here’s more.

With heavy investments in both our new Automated Truck R&D Center in Portland, Oregon and our High Desert Proving Grounds in Madras, Oregon, we’re creating global hotspots of emerging technologies and innovation, zeroing-in on freight efficiency, safety, and driver experience. Our engineers in North America collaborate closely with colleagues around the world at Daimler Trucks locations in Stuttgart, Germany and Bangalore, India to form a global network of hundreds of engineers devoted to advancing automated driving technology. We leverage this depth and breadth of experience across Daimler’s vehicle divisions to include both commercial vehicles and passenger cars.

As we make progress with automated trucks, we’ve been testing them on our state-of-the-art test tracks and on Oregon highways. In June, we demonstrated automated driving through vehicle pairing, incorporating advanced, vehicle-to-vehicle communications between two trucks and showcasing our high-tech safety systems. Paired vehicles essentially ‘talk’ to each other, collecting information such as position, speed, and braking status 50 times every second. As a result, trucks in an automated pair can respond to each other in coordinated fashion, much faster than a human. This allows the vehicles to travel safely at a close following distance, thereby reducing fuel consumption.

To help us prepare for new levels of automation, our Data Collection Truck (pictured above) aggregates immense troves of real-world data from a range of sensors. Dozens of test runs have provided a wealth of data that help us adapt as we move forward with our typical, micron-level attention to detail.

We’re not just developing technology for technology’s sake, though. Our new Automated Truck R&D Center is a hub for co-creation where customers, suppliers, and business partners alike can provide input that deepens our understanding of how this technology can help our customers increase their profitability. Our eyes are on the bottom-line impact—not just for our customers, but for society at large. That means safety and reliability come first, as always, and automated driving systems are no exception.

Drivers remain at the center of any new development – even of a truck featuring highly automated driving technology. The opinion that the technology will not replace drivers was further validated by findings from a recent study, Preparing the Workforce for Automated Vehicles, conducted by the American Center for Mobility—a non-profit testing and product-development facility for future mobility.

We’re not going it alone, either. We’re collaborating with other industry experts to help ensure that we’re at the forefront of the discussion of how the advancement of automated vehicles will impact safety, quality of life, and economic opportunity. Daimler has teamed up with the American Trucking Associations, FedEx, Toyota, Ford, Uber, Waymo, and Lyft to found the Partnership for Transportation Innovation & Opportunity (PTIO).

Committed to collaborating with American workers, policy makers, and customers to find solutions through the common-sense adoption of automated driving technology, PTIO creates a powerful alliance for collaboration on the future of automated vehicles. Only through examining, listening and understanding potentially disruptive new technology from every angle can we remain responsible global stewards, as we develop and commercialize groundbreaking new tech.

Our industry is changing fast, and we’re adapting to meet it head-on. We’ll have a number of new automation engineering positions opening in the weeks ahead as we ramp up our team. Again, if you want to shape the future of transportation, we’d love to hear from you. Send a letter of interest and your resume to [email protected].