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World’s 1st Autonomous Truck Goes into Operation

Daimler gets Nevada license for first “Inspiration Truck.”

by on May.05, 2015

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval hands over the state's first-ever license plate for an autonomous truck to Daimler's Wolfgang Bernhard.

The world’s first autonomous 18-wheeler is getting down to business. At a ceremony at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Tuesday, Gov. Brian Sandoval handed over an official Nevada license plate for use by a new Freightliner Inspiration Truck on public roads.

Though a human “driver” will need to sit behind the wheel in case of an emergency, the new system is intended to usher in an era that could very well lead to fleets of trucks that have no humans onboard at all, said Wolfgang Bernhard, the board member overseeing truck operations at Freightliner’s parent, Daimler AG.

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Even in its current, more limited form, the technology offers a number of advantages, Bernhard said, noting that 90% of truck crashes involve human error, according to government data, much of that due to fatigue. (more…)

Big Expansion at BMW, Daimler Plants in Carolinas

Spartanburg set to become BMW’s second-largest line.

by on Jan.13, 2012

The BMW plant in Spartanburg will undergo yet another expansion - and get the new X4.

The U.S. auto industry continues to be one of the drivers of the American job market – in this case, thanks to German manufacturers BMW and Daimler AG.

The two plan to add more than 1,500 jobs at factories in the Carolinas, the expansion at BMW potentially making its factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina its second-largest.  It is already this country’s largest exporter of automotive products to markets outside of the NAFTA region.

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Daimler Trucks North America announced the addition of a second shift and plans to ramp up production at its Freightliner Truck Manufacturing Plant in Cleveland, North Carolina, creating more than 1,100 new jobs by the end of 2012. The additional workers represent a 72% increase in personnel at the plant and will include approximately 1,072 shop employees and an additional 29 engineering and support positions, the company said in statement.