PORTLAND, Ore. — Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) and Zonar Systems announced Thursday that DTNA had become a minority investor in Zonar.
This investment marks a milestone in DTNA’s development of smarter-connected vehicles and in Zonar’s continued role as a leader in telematics and connectivity services, officials of both companies said in a news release.
The long-term strategic partnership aims to help DTNA and Zonar to achieve their shared vision of optimal transportation logistics through intelligent connectivity, they said.
Zonar will continue to operate independently of DTNA, with Martin Daum, president and CEO of DTNA, becoming a member of its board of directors.
“Telematics and connectivity are revolutionizing commercial vehicle operation with enormous opportunities for OEMs, especially for us as the leader of this business. That is exactly why we made connectivity a dedicated part of our strategy,” said Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses.
“We consistently implement this strategy – and today we have reached an important milestone. Our investment in Zonar will help us to put connected services on the road with even greater speed and variety. We are partnering with a pioneer in this field,” Bernhard said.
“The strategic partnership provides DTNA the ability to leverage the agile development and rapid innovation cycles for which Zonar is known. Zonar’s solutions, combined with DTNA’s industry leadership in engineering, will benefit customers across all markets,” Daum said. “The future of DTNA’s and Zonar’s products will evolve, but our ultimate focus is on increasing efficiency and safety – benefitting everyone on the road.”
“This is a relationship in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Zonar CEO Brett Brinton. “The drivers and fleet managers will all benefit from combining the big data analytics and rapid technology development Zonar offers with the depth of knowledge, precision and expertise in vehicle engineering DTNA brings. It is an honor to be selected as a technology partner to the world’s best vehicle manufacturer, aligning their philosophy of ‘the best or nothing.’”
The companies have partnered for more than five years, starting with the launch of the Virtual Technician remote diagnostic system. Today, Zonar’s products can be factory-installed in Freightliner Trucks, Western Star trucks and Thomas Built Buses. DTNA and Zonar will continue to co-develop new products and expand Zonar’s product suite, both as an OEM and independently.
The investment also underlines the ongoing evolution of Zonar’s diagnostic, safety and tracking systems that are seamlessly integrated into all DTNA vehicles, Daum said, adding that the collective vision includes vehicles tailored for each driver, route and payload. Every new DTNA vehicle coming off the line will benefit from this relationship, including vocational vehicles, school buses and on-highway trucks.
Brinton said Zonar’s current solutions offer unparalleled visibility into fleet operations – including fuel savings and increased safety and uptime – across several market segments. The added resource of DTNA’s expertise will enable Zonar to expand on its present product line, as well as build new technology solutions for additional connected vehicle systems, he said.
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