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Daimler Trucks establishes global organization for highly automated driving

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At CES 2019, Daimler Trucks debuted the first SAE Level 2 automated truck to enter series production in North America, the Freightliner new Cascadia with Detroit Assurance 5.0. (Courtesy: DAIMLER TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA)

BLACKSBURG, Va./PORTLAND, Ore./STUTTGART, Germany — Effective June 1, Daimler Trucks is establishing the Autonomous Technology Group as a global organization for automated driving, bringing together its worldwide expertise and activities.

The main tasks of the new unit comprise overall strategy and implementation of the automated driving roadmap, including research and development as well as setting up the required operations infrastructure and network, heading towards the series production of highly automated trucks (SAE level 4).

The newly established Autonomous Technology Group is part of Daimler Trucks’ global effort to put highly automated trucks onto the roads within a decade.

To achieve this, Daimler Trucks announced an investment of more than $570 million at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. In commercial trucking, level 4 is the logical next step after level 2 to increase safety as well as efficiency and productivity, Daimler officials have said.

“We are the pioneer for automated trucks. 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,” said Martin Daum, member of the board of management of Daimler AG responsible for trucks and buses. “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.”

Effective June 1, Peter Vaughan Schmidt, who is currently head of strategy Daimler Trucks, will lead this new, global and cross-divisional organization. In this position, he will continue to report directly to Daum. Schmidt has 15 years of experience in the industry and in his previous position he has been responsible for the development of Daimler Trucks’ strategy on automated vehicles. “With the Autonomous Technology Group, we are bringing together our global experts and their vast knowledge in automated trucking,” Schmidt said. “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.”

Roger Nielsen, CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, which includes the market-leading Freightliner brand said DTNA is “excited to have our automated driving efforts backed by the Autonomous Technology Group. This new global organization will enable us to even stronger evolve the technology for highly automated driving and vehicle integration for heavy-duty trucks at our Automated Truck Research & Development Center in Portland. We’re fully committed to demonstrating the enormous advantages of highly automated driving first here in the U.S.A.”

Main activities of the new unit include software development, chassis redundancy, sensor kit integration and operations infrastructure.

Software development for highly automated driving will be one of the key activities of the Autonomous Technology Group. Another will be the so-called vehicle project: On the one hand, the vehicle project will be responsible for the redundancy in the chassis enabling the vehicle’s systems to take over roles of a professional driver while on the road, providing the highest safety. On the other hand, the vehicle project will take care of the automated driving sensor kit integration (camera, lidar, radar), which — together with a very accurate map — is responsible for ensuring that the highly automated truck finds its own way on the road. The operations infrastructure and network to be set up by the Autonomous Technology Group — another key activity – will consist of one main vehicle control center as well as additional stations at logistics hubs.

The Autonomous Technology Group has a global reach with experts working in various locations throughout the company’s worldwide development network, i.e. in Portland, Blacksburg and Stuttgart. More locations will follow as the test fleet is built up and deployed. The Blacksburg-based company Torc Robotics will be part of the newly established Autonomous Technology Group, pending the authorities’ approval of the acquisition recently announced by Daimler Trucks. Daum said both companies complement each other perfectly, with Torc’s expertise in agile software development and Daimler Trucks’ experience in delivering reliable and safe truck hardware.

Torc Robotics will remain a separate entity and retain its name, team, existing customers and facilities in Blacksburg. In addition, the founders of Torc Robotics will continue to be part of the company’s management team.

Daimler Trucks will continue to work very closely on automated vehicle technology across Daimler, including joint activities with passenger cars, for leveraging synergies. At the same time, truck specifications require own development activities because of the entirely different nature of the system (one-box vs. articulated) and focus on highway goods transportation vs. inner-city passenger transportation.

Daimler Trucks is a pioneer of truck automation. In 2014, the world’s leading truck manufacturer presented the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025, the world’s first automated truck, and was the first to demonstrate the technological opportunities and great potential that automated trucks offer the economy and society.

In 2015, Daimler’s Freightliner Inspiration Truck obtained the first-ever road license for a partially automated commercial vehicle, and in the same year, the world premiere of the Mercedes-Benz Actros with Highway Pilot took place on public roads.

With Active Drive Assist (Mercedes-Benz Actros, FUSO Super Great) and Detroit Assurance 5.0 with Active Lane Assist (Freightliner Cascadia), Daimler Trucks is the first manufacturer to put partially automated driving features (SAE level 2) into series production. The new system can independently brake, accelerate and steer. Unlike systems that only work above a certain speed, Active Drive Assist / Detroit Assurance 5.0 make partially automated driving possible for the driver in all speed ranges, also another first in a series-production truck. This revolutionary active lateral and longitudinal assistance package features a new state-of-the art radar and camera fusion system. Further information on Daimler is available at www.media.daimler.com and www.daimler.com

 

 

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Transflo offers Samsung Galaxy Tablets running the Transflo Mobile+ Platform

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Developed specifically for professional drivers, the Transflo Mobile+ app allows users to manage all their work from a single mobile app on one device. (Courtesy: TRANSFLO)

TAMPA, Fla. — As Transflo continues to grow its digital workflow platform for commercial truck fleets and drivers, the company now offers the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8-inch 32GB LTE tablet compatible with the Transflo Mobile+ app and all Transflo products and services, including the industry’s leading electronic logging device (ELD) for mobile platforms.

Drivers can easily access information including electronic records of duty status on the Galaxy’s clear, bright 8-inch touch display, and its LTE connectivity ensures seamless cloud integration and compliance with U.S. FMCSA regulations for wireless transfers of hours-of-service data.

“The Samsung Galaxy Tab A running the Transflo Mobile+ app is the perfect solution for anyone currently using our ELD or who is about to transition to one,” said Vice President of Product and Innovation Doug Schrier. “It’s the only device that fleets and drivers need to manage a mobile workflow and get more done, anywhere and everywhere the job takes them.”

Schrier said the Samsung Galaxy Tab A uses the Android operating system, has 32GB internal storage, dual cameras (for document scanning), and a 1.4GHz quad-core processor for a combination of fast performance and power efficiency. Transflo also offers a range of mounting and charging options to keep the device powered up and secure inside the cab.

Developed specifically for professional drivers, Schrier said the Transflo Mobile+ app allows users to manage all their work from a single mobile app on one device. Additionally, Transflo’s ELD bundles offer complete fleet solutions that integrate with the mobile app and include: document scanning; integrated GPS-based navigation; weigh station bypass technology; two-way messaging; and services for finding fuel, truck scales, and other essential services.

Transflo offers the Samsung Galaxy Tab A with data plans through AT&T and T-Mobile.

For more information about tablets and Transflo’s ELD bundles, please visit transflo.com.

 

 

 

 

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McLeod Software creates AI Truck Racing League for understanding machine learning

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A McLeod Software official said his company believes its creation of the AI Truck Racing League as a learning tool is important and how it will be fun to see which company lifts the AITRL Champions Cup at the end of the inaugural season. (Courtesy: MCLEOD SOFTWARE)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — McLeod Software has created the AI Truck Racing League (AITRL), a new organization focused on advancing the understanding of Machine Learning technology in the transportation industry.

“Machine Learning is not yet widely understood by many, but to help companies gain a better understanding, we have set up a fun racing simulation as a way for companies to learn and participate. At McLeod Software, we realize Machine Learning is the future happening now. That is why we have created the AI Truck Racing League and the McLeod Software Racing Team,” said Vice President of Special Projects Ken Craig.

AITRL’s open platform enables member-racing teams to use industry standard cutting edge AI technologies. Developers can train, evaluate and tune their AI models using either Supervised Learning, Unsupervised Learning, Reinforcement Learning or any combination thereof.

Virtual world simulation will be done on AITRL’s website or locally at the racing team’s office. Teams will be able to select virtual trucks to race in the 3D simulator on tracks inspired by famous raceways. Each track will bring new challenges that the AI models need to conquer as they prepare for the AITRL Championship Cup.

Craig said the company invites transportation companies and allied suppliers to experience the excitement of racing mixed with the thrill of teaching an inanimate object how to think.

Each member of AITRL will have their own intra-company team which will train virtual trucks as they hone their AI models. Each member team will produce a champion by racing their virtually trained trucks on a virtual track with a 1/18 scale semi-truck. These champions will represent their member team in inter-company competitions and compete for the AITRL League Cup.

“We look forward to working with this great group of companies to advance the goal of understanding how Machine Learning will become both practical and efficient for transportation companies,” Craig said. “We work continuously to ensure that McLeod customers sustain a competitive advantage, and have full access to important technologies, developed by McLeod Software or our Partners. We believe our creation of AITRL as a learning tool is important for this reason, and it will be fun to see which company lifts the AITRL Champions Cup at the end of the inaugural season.”

Initial entrants fielding a racing team for the AITRL include Kingsgate Logistics, SONAR, Decker Truck Lines, and Echo Global Logistics.

To learn more about the AI Truck Racing League and how you can participate, please visit www.AITRL.org.

McLeod Software is a provider of transportation and logistics ERP solutions. The company’s LoadMaster and PowerBroker products include CRM, dispatch operations, EDI, accounting, billing and settlements, carrier, driver and trip management, business process automation, visual workflow management, and document management systems, all specifically developed for trucking.

For more information about McLeod visit at www.McLeodSoftware.com

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Azuga introduces SafetyCam designed to improve driver behavior, reduce risk

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A company official said along with assessing accidents after they happen, Azuga SafetyCam can be used to identify and reduce unsafe driving behaviors before accidents ever occur. (Courtesy: AZUGA)

FREMONT, Calif. — Azuga, a provider of connected vehicle and fleet technologies, Wednesday launched Azuga SafetyCam, a proprietary WiFi-enabled, dash-mounted monitoring solution rounds out the company’s portfolio designed to monitor and improve driver behavior, reduce risk and ultimately lower costs related to driving incidents.

his coupled with the launch of its virtual coaching system, Azuga Coach, reflects the company’s commitment to keeping fleet drivers safe and insurance premiums down for their companies, according to Ananth Rani, CEO and co-founder of Azuga.

Azuga SafetyCam is designed with high-definition, 1080p road-facing and driver-facing cameras that record evidence in the event of an accident, offering immediate proof of an accident’s cause and who is at fault during the insurance claims process.

With Azuga SafetyCam, fleet-based businesses can rest assured knowing that they have the technology needed for liability protection that can make the difference between an insurance pay-out or a denied claim, Rani said.

“According to the American Trucking Association, 70% of all accidents are not the fault of the commercial driver, yet in most cases, the company is deemed at fault. With Azuga SafetyCam, businesses and their insurance providers benefit from having a first-hand perspective into incident specifics, which helps in identifying who is at fault, during an accident or traffic violation,” he said. “With an already proven track record of reducing accident frequency and severity by 50%, we can now deliver a solution which can exonerate drivers, further reduce insurance premiums and ensure that business operations can get back to normal.”

Rani said along with assessing accidents after they happen, Azuga SafetyCam can be used to identify and reduce unsafe driving behaviors before accidents ever occur. While Azuga SafetyCam is continuously recording vehicle trips, it can automatically detect at-risk driving behaviors and will upload video before and after they occur, such as hard braking, sudden acceleration or hard cornering, by leveraging intelligence gathered from Azuga Fleet’s GPS telematics solution. Fleet managers can then review these video clips to proactively identify poor driving habits and use them as real-life examples when coaching drivers to curb bad driving behaviors.

In addition to the launch of SafetyCam, Azuga is expanding its safety platform by partnering with Driving Dynamics to launch Azuga Coach, an online video-based training tool for its customers. Azuga Coach integrates Driving Dynamics’ award-winning DrivActiv eLearning™ training suite into Azuga’s telematics platform, where drivers will be assigned targeted online training videos based on their individual driving scores.

“With the launch of Azuga SafetyCam and the debut of Azuga Coach, fleets can tap into the power of video to improve driver safety behind the wheel, which ultimately helps fleet-based businesses protect their bottom line and ensure safe operations throughout the communities in which they serve,” added Tom Erdman, executive vice president of business development and insurance telematics at Azuga.

The Azuga SafetyCam dual-facing video camera can be bundled into existing contracts free of charge or purchased without a contract for $99, plus monthly service fees.

Visit http://www.azuga.com to set up a demo for Azuga SafetyCam or to learn more about Azuga’s video-enabled safety solutions.

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