America’s most profitable and identifiable truck maker, PACCAR is wading into an area that is heavily populated with Tesla and Toyota Prius cars where trucks and truck engineering seem an alien concept with the announcement it would open a technology centre in Silicon Valley later this year.

PACCAR said in its statement that the new Silicon Valley Innovation Centre will coordinate next-generation product development and identify emerging technologies that will benefit future vehicle performance.

Technology areas of focus will include advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), artificial intelligence, vehicle connectivity and augmented reality.

Darrin Siver, PACCAR senior vice president said that PACCAR is looking forward to expanding its partnerships with technology companies in Silicon Valley.

“PACCAR’s Innovation Center will include state-of-the-art laboratory and workshop facilities, and office space,” he said.

The announcement of the new Silicon Valley innovation Centre came amidst the truck giant’s announcement of first half results which saw it continue its unblemished profit record that stretches back more than 80 years.

Highlights of PACCAR’s financial results for the first six months of 2017 include consolidated net sales and revenues of $US8.94 billion with net income or what we call profit of $US683.3 million for the first six months of 2017.

While truck sales were buoyant and on the bounce in the US PACCAR Parts also produced strong results with pre-tax income of $US304.1 million on revenues of $US1.61 billion.

This six month result included a record second quarter result where the parts operation bettered the Q2 2016 result by more than nine per cent. Meanwhile its Financial Services arm produced pre-tax income of $US120.3 million.

In the USA Kenworth and Peterbilt achieved 31.7 per cent share of U.S. and Canadian Class 8 truck orders and a 29.6 percent share of U.S. and Canadian Class 8 truck retail sales in the first half.

“Kenworth and Peterbilt’s medium and heavy-duty truck deliveries increased in the second quarter of 2017 by 25 percent compared to the first quarter of this year,” said Gary Moore, PACCAR executive vice president.<

“Class 8 truck industry retail sales for the U.S. and Canada are expected to be in a range of 200,000-220,000 vehicles in 2017. The truck market reflects the good economy and high levels of freight tonnage,” he added.