Daimler Trucks North America has become a minority investor in Zonar Systems Inc., according to the company.

This news marks a milestone in DTNA’s development of smarter connected vehicles and comes five years after the two companies partnered up to launch the Virtual Technician remote diagnostic system.

The investment also underlines the ongoing evolution of Zonar’s diagnostic, safety and tracking systems that are seamlessly integrated into DTNA vehicles. The collective vision includes vehicles tailored for each driver, route and payload.

Drivers powered by Zonar see tangible takeaways such as increased safety, easier HOS logging and verified inspection records, according to the company. Zonar’s 2020 tablet – which includes apps for HOS to meet the ELD mandate, EVIR, driver behavior coaching, and more – is an example of the customizable smart technology that connects drivers to their vehicles and back offices.

Every new DTNA vehicle coming off the line will benefit from this relationship, including vocational vehicles, school buses and on-highway trucks including Freightliner, Western Star trucks and Thomas Built Buses. 

Although DTNA is becoming a minority investor, both of the companies will continue to operate independently of each other.

Zonar will continue to work closely with DTNA to build on the success of Virtual Technician, and to develop additional embedded technologies. DTNA’s complete telematics solution, branded Detroit Connect, was developed by and is powered by Zonar and is used in more than 150,000 vehicles.