DTNA invests in telematics partner Zonar

Daimler Trucks North America has acquired a minority stake in Zonar Systems


Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has made a minority investment in Zonar Systems, the truck maker’s OEM partner for telematics and connectivity services.

The move is a strategic partnership between the two companies to boost a shared vision of optimal transportation logistics through connected technology and involves the addition of DTNA CEO Martin Daum to the Zonar board of directors.

"The strategic partnership provides DTNA the ability to leverage the agile development and rapid innovation cycles for which Zonar is known," Daum says.

"Zonar’s solutions, combined with DTNA’s industry leadership in engineering, will benefit customers across all markets. 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."

Zonar and DTNA have been working together for over five years with the technology company providing factory installs of Detroit Connect’s Virtual Technician in Freightliner and Western Star trucks and Thomas Built buses, an integrated remote diagnostic system for Detroit Diesel engines.

The partnership means DTNA and Zonar will co-develop new products for OEM and independent solutions, allowing for Zonar’s diagnostic, safety and tracking systems to be integrated in all DTNA vehicles and even tailor solutions on a driver, route and payload basis.

"This is a relationship in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts," Zonar CEO Brett Brinton says.

"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."

Established in 2001, Zonar is North America’s third biggest heavy-duty telematics equipment provider for commercial vehicles and has equipped more than 150,000 trucks with the Virtual Technician solution since 2011.

The solution records vehicle performance before, during and after a fault occurs and transfers that information to a customer service centre.

The type and critical nature of the fault is then analysed and relayed to the transport operator, who can inform the driver that he can continue on his route or must have the issue examined immediately.

If the issue does require immediate action, the service centre can provide information on the closest repair location with the parts in stock and warn the repair company of the upcoming arrival of the truck.


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