PORTLAND, Ore. — Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has become a minority investor in Zonar Systems Inc., as part of a long-term strategic partnership designed to help both companies achieve their shared vision of optimal transportation logistics through intelligent connectivity.
The investment marks a milestone in DTNA’s development of smarter connected vehicles and in Zonar’s continued role as a supplier of telematics and connectivity services, company officials 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.
“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.”
“Telematics and connectivity are revolutionizing commercial vehicle operation with enormous opportunities for OEMs,” said Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, member of the board of management of Daimler AG, which is responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses. “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.”
“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,” said Zonar CEO Brett Brinton.
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, company officials said.
The investment also underscores the ongoing evolution of Zonar’s diagnostic, safety and tracking systems that are integrated into all DTNA vehicles. The collective vision includes vehicles tailored for each driver, route and payload.
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.