Daimler Truck and Volvo Group forge alliance for software-defined trucks

The truck manufacturers Daimler Truck and Volvo Group have already joined hands to develop public truck chargers in Europe. Now the two competitors are also announcing their intention to establish a joint venture focussing on digital vehicle functions.

Image: Volvo Trucks

Daimler Truck and the Volvo Group (together with Traton) are already joint partners in the Milence truck charging joint venture. The two companies have now announced that they are also endeavouring to develop a joint software-defined vehicle platform and a dedicated truck operating system. Both are to form the basis for future software-defined commercial vehicles. To this end, both sides want to establish a 50:50 joint venture based in Gothenburg and “turn it into a leading developer of standardised hardware and software”.

According to the initiators, the joint venture will integrate existing technology and resources from both companies into the new organisation. The explicit aim is “to develop a common software-defined vehicle platform and dedicated truck operating system, providing the basis for future software-defined commercial vehicles”, according to the statement. To this end, the joint venture will provide a joint developer platform on which its customers can develop their own software applications.

The two initiators of the cooperation do not necessarily want to remain among themselves: “This technical basis will then enable Daimler Truck and Volvo Group and potentially other partners to provide differentiating digital vehicle features for its products ultimately enhancing customer efficiency and experience,” they say. As two major players in the industry, the two truck manufacturers aim to define industry standards. The duo emphasises that they will continue to compete in all other business areas.

Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO of the Volvo Group, explains the reasons for the joint venture: “Given the rapid transformation of our industry, it makes sense to collaborate to accelerate development, increase volumes and share cost. Software-defined heavy-duty trucks represent a paradigm shift in the transformation of our industry.” He continues: “Making the truck a programmable device with standardized hardware and operating system for fast product updates will give both companies the opportunity to create value for our customers and their customers though differentiating digital services and solutions.”

For Martin Daum, CEO of Daimler Truck, digitalisation in the vehicle is just as important as the transformation towards CO2-neutral drive technologies: “Developing a common software-defined vehicle platform with Volvo Group will enable us to turn our vehicles into a programmable device. It will allow us to build differentiating digital vehicle features with significantly greater speed and efficiency for our truck and bus customers around the globe. Together with the Volvo Group we can develop a benchmark truck operating system and set an industry standard.”

The signed agreement between the two industry heavyweights is not yet binding. The final deal is expected to be finalised before the end of the year and the entire transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2025 – subject to the necessary approvals from the relevant authorities.



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