Traton Group announces R&D budget of over €1 billion for the next five years

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The Traton Group is making strides with networked vehicles, logistics, and autonomous driving. Towards this effort, the MAN, Scania, and Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus (VWCO) brands are developing common platforms to be more agile and to reduce costs.

Traton’s research and development (R&D) is therefore focused on digitalization; by the end of 2024, more than €1 billion in R&D expenditure is to flow into this area.

Andreas Renschler, Traton CEO and member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, said: “We want to move into the digital fast lane and are continuing to evolve from a hardware supplier to a provider of software and services.” This is also evident from the almost 2,000 software engineers that already work for the brands today - making up nearly 30% of all engineers employed at Traton Group.

The Group is already working on a common platform for autonomous driving and has a number of vehicles being tested or in real use. Traton will also be examining possibilities to fully leverage the vast knowledge within the VW Group and its partners.

Christian Levin, Traton board member responsible for R&D and Chief Operating Officer said: “Autonomous driving is not coming. It’s already here! We have already delivered the first vehicles and many tests are underway.”

The number of networked vehicles of Traton Group’s customers is growing rapidly. While at the end of 2018, there were around 450,000 vehicles networked the number increased to around 600,000 in 2019. By the end of 2025, that number is expected to be more than a million vehicles. Since the beginning of 2019, nearly every new medium and heavy-duty truck delivered by Scania and MAN is connected in one way or another. VWCO will also equip its vehicles from October on with the relevant Group connectivity solution as a standard.

Model cycles in the truck business are different from the ones in the car industry; a completely new truck generation is developed only every 15 to 20 years. MAN will roll out its new truck generation in 2020.

Joachim Drees, MAN CEO and member of the Traton Executive Board, said: "MAN's new truck generation will replace the current and enormously successful product line that has been sold over millions of times in countless variants since its introduction in 2000. MAN’s new flagship is designed to sets standards in terms of user-friendliness as well as connectivity –not only today’s requirements for digitalization, automation, and drive systems concepts, but also tomorrow’s. This new truck generation has been developed based on concrete requirements of our customers in order to make their work and the work of the drivers easier, more efficient, and more comfortable. It is not just a new truck but rather an integrated transport solution."

Since 2016, MAN and Scania have invested double-digit-million-euro figures in software firms including the digital freight forwarder Sennder. And in 2016, Traton established its own digital brand RIO. The company develops digital services for the entire logistics ecosystem and now connects more than 115,000 trucks over its open, cloud-based platform. Whereas previously the company’s offering was primarily aimed at small fleets and delivery companies, RIO now opens up a completely new customer segment. It is intended that RIO will be supporting Group Logistics of the Volkswagen Group in digitalizing their processes. The collaboration aims to make significant savings with more transparent and efficient processes.

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