Daimler Trucks Opens New Testing Grounds in Central Oregon
Site Will Serve as Proving Grounds for Autonomous Tech
Daimler Trucks North America, which includes the well-known Class 8 and commercial vehicle brands Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built buses, and Freightliner Custom Chassis is opening an 87-acre testing facility near the central Oregon city of Madras. Work began on the facility in 2015 by general contractor Kirby Nagelhout. The stated purpose of the new proving grounds closer to DTNA’s U.S. headquarters in Portland is to validate research and development initiatives more quickly, and expedite the introduction of new technologies. The proving grounds will be a critical component in the testing and validation of Daimler’s autonomous and platooning technology.
The proving grounds consist of a 3 1/2-mile test track with a variety of surfaces and conditions designed to simulate the conditions a truck will face during its service life. The site will also include a 32,000-square-foot office building housing 40 employees, the majority of which will be hired locally for engineering validation and driving duties at the facility. Madras is approximately 120 miles southeast of Portland. Daimler is one of the leaders in the development of Class 8 autonomous and platooning technology, making headlines in 2015 for winning approval from the state of Nevada for autonomous truck testing on public roads.
Source: Daimler Trucks North America