Allison buys up for electric and connected technology


Vantage Power and AxleTech division purchases follow recent trend

Allison buys up for electric and connected technology
Torc CEO Michael Fleming with Martin Daum

 

The truck technology mergers and acquisitions push shows continued momentum with Allison having bought all of Vantage Power and AxleTech's electric vehicle (EV) systems division.

Global automatic transmissions manufacturer Allison’s move comes just weeks after Daimler picked up US self-driving tech firm Torc Robotics and ZF bought US braking specialist Wabco to boost its connectivity, automation and electric propulsion strategy.


Read how ZF swallowed Wabco in a $10 billion move, here


London-based technology company Vantage Power specialises electrified propulsion and connected vehicle technologies for medium- and heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers.

With particular focus on battery technology development, vehicle integration and control systems, as well as vehicle connectivity and telemetry, Vantage Power technologies have been deployed in applications including complete electric hybrid repower systems for buses to grid energy storage.

"Vantage Power's entrepreneurial spirit and technological advancements complement our strategic priorities to meet and exceed our customers' demands," Allison Transmission president and CEO David S Graziosi.

"Through this and other growth initiatives, we will continue to build upon our conventional and electric hybrid products today while differentiating ourselves in the electrification and fuel cell markets."

AxleTech designs, engineers, manufactures, sells and services axles and integrated electrified axle solutions for on- and off-highway heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

With industrial roots established in 1919, the company's nearly 800 worldwide employees drive the company to develop advanced powertrain systems, axles, components and aftermarket parts for global customers. The EV systems division is located at AxleTech's headquarters in Troy, Michigan.

"AxleTech's highly integrated solutions in the EV space and their presence in Allison's end markets complement our position as a leading propulsion solutions provider," Graziosi says.

"The talented individuals and products within AxleTech's EV systems division and their capabilities will combine well with our current products expertise to create and provide unmatched propulsion solutions."

With Torc Robotics, Daimler gains autonomous driving expertise with a view to gaining momentum with its push to SAE Level 4 highly automated trucks.

"Bringing Torc Robotics within the Daimler Trucks family creates a unique and powerful team of innovators to put highly automated trucks on the road," Daimler board member for trucks and buses Martin Daum says.

"Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics complement each other perfectly in terms of resources, expertise, and skill sets. We are forming the ideal combination between Torc’s expertise on agile software development and our experience in delivering reliable and safe truck hardware."

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) CEO Roger Nielsen points to Torc’s established experience in the field.

"Torc takes a practical approach to commercialisation and offers advanced, road-ready technology, plus years of experience in heavy vehicles," Nielsen says.

"Torc’s Level 4 system has been shown to operate well for both urban and highway driving in rain, snow, fog, and sunshine."

As part of the overall agreements, the Torc team will work closely with Daimler Trucks’ developers, particularly with the Research & Development team of Daimler Trucks North America in Portland, Oregon.

Torc will continue to develop its Asimov self-driving software and testing at its Blacksburg facility.

At the same time, DTNA will focus on further evolving automated driving technology and vehicle integration for heavy-duty trucks at its Automated Truck Research & Development Center in Portland.

The DTNA team is working on a truck chassis perfectly suited for automated driving, particularly the redundancy of systems needed to provide the maximum level of reliability and safety.

Under the agreement, Torc will remain a separate entity.

Meanwhile, Daimler Trucks is drawing Mercedes-Benz Cars regarding sensor technology and operational aspects of vehicle automation.

 

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