Even though key issues like safety and efficiency will continue to shape the industry agenda, catering to mega-trends like automated driving and connectivity will be the next big challenge for suppliers to the trailer industry, according Dr Peter Laier of German braking technology specialist, Knorr-Bremse.
In an exclusive interview with Global Trailer, Laier said industry has to prepare for a new age of complexity, where new technology challenges arise alongside traditional focus areas.
In response to such a scenario, Laier said Knorr-Bremse has already taken first steps behind the sense – for example with the development of an in-house departure warning system, adaptive cruise control and emergency braking assistant.
“Knorr-Bremse has been working in the driver assistance field for quite some time now and also embraced digitalisation and automation early on – just think of our lane-keep technology or the award-winning iTap system, which is now used by Schmitz Cargobull. The impact of these technologies will be substantial and likely change the entire industry as we know it,” he explained.
“From here we will explore blind spot, congestion and lane keeping assistance, as well as yard manoeuvring as seen at the IAA Show.”
Part of a future technology offensive from Knorr-Bremse could also be the pending acquisition of Swedish company, Haldex.
Laier told Global Trailer: “For Knorr-Bremse, a potential take-over of Haldex remains a very good opportunity to create one of the leading ‘systems suppliers’ in the world, with a clear focus on the commercial vehicle business and attractive growth opportunities.
“With respect to merger control, our perspectives are unchanged: We are confident that we will obtain all necessary merger control approvals very soon.”
The full interview is available now in Global Trailer 31. Get your copy here