Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has announced a 3-year, $3 million partnership with the American Center for Mobility (ACM). DTNA will use ACM’s facility in suburban Detroit to provide its customers and dealers the opportunity to experience the company’s latest in-vehicle technology from its Detroit, Freightliner, Western Star, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation and Thomas Built Buses brands.
“Our partnership with the American Center for Mobility allows us to provide our customers the unique experience to pilot the complete portfolio of vehicles equipped with game-changing safety and propulsion technologies we are bringing to American roadways and jobsites,” said David Carson, senior vice president of sales and marketing, DTNA. “The advanced technologies offered in our trucks have the potential to save lives and reduce operating costs, making demonstration of those technologies at the ACM’s facility a perfect complement to their mission of accelerating mobility development across transportation segments.”
ACM is a collaborative effort comprised of government, industry, and academic organizations focused on accelerating the mobility industry through research, standards development and educational programming. The 500-acre campus in Ypsilanti, MI, offers a global smart mobility test center providing a safe platform for the integration, testing and demonstration of emerging vehicle and mobility technologies, convening opportunities on critical mobility industry topics, and an innovation technology campus for the co-location of mobility companies.
In addition to ACM’s existing test environments, including a 2.5 mile highway experience that accommodates Class 8 trucks at high-speeds, DTNA’s financial support and extensive knowledge of work truck operations facilitated the creation of an all-new off-road course within the ACM test center. This off-road course will be used to replicate extreme vocational environments, including a variety of grades, rough rock and embedded log obstacles, aggregate and mud surfaces, a sand pit, embankments and more, all supported by ACM’s Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) technology stack in the background. The off-road course provides DTNA the opportunity to showcase the robust capabilities of its industry-leading vocational lineup, including the all-new Western Star 49X.
“ACM’s partnership with DTNA illustrates how our shared-use facility can be used to showcase products to customers,” said Reuben Sarkar, president and CEO of ACM. “Customers can see and experience products first-hand in purpose-built driving environments. ACM is not just a test facility for validating technologies - we are also a product showcase venue.”
The partnership agreement between DTNA and ACM represents the first collaboration by ACM with a manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles and formalizes a longstanding relationship between ACM and DTNA whose Detroit brand has used the center for multiple years to demonstrate its technologies for customers and distributors. ACM is located a mere 25 miles from the Detroit facility, which employs over 2,500 salaried and hourly workers designing and building DTNA’s proprietary line of components, including engines, electric motors, axles, transmissions and industry-leading safety technologies.
“ACM’s existing facilities, with everything from urban to highways, bridges, tunnels and cross traffic simulation has been a great asset to the Detroit team at DTNA over the years,” said Mike Stricker, director, component sales, Detroit. “We’re honored to assist in further expanding the facility to now include an off-road track that will allow us to demonstrate the full capability of our vocational product line, including the Western Star 49X equipped with the Detroit engines and DT12-V and DT12-VX transmissions.”