Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has become a minority investor in Zonar Systems, the companies announced. According a press statement, the “long-term strategic partnership aims to help DTNA and Zonar to achieve their shared vision of optimal transportation logistics through intelligent connectivity.”
Zonar will continue to operate independently of DTNA, with Martin Daum, 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.”
The companies have partnered for more than five years, starting with the launch of the Virtual Technician remote diagnostic system. 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 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,” said Martin Daum, president and CEO, Daimler Trucks North America. “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 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, the companies said.