Daimler Trucks, the largest truck company in the world has acquired Torc Robotics, a global leader in autonomous vehicle technology. Together, they have formed the Daimler Autonomous Technology Group. Daimler has now started testing SAE Level 4 autonomous trucks on public roads in Virginia, USA, where Torc Robotics is located. These tests have been commenced after extensively proving the technology in laboratory and under controlled conditions. All automated runs have both an engineer overseeing the system and a highly trained safety driver certified by Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics onboard the vehicle. All safety drivers hold a commercial driver’s license and are specially trained in vehicle dynamics and automated systems.
Martin Daum, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Trucks & Buses announced that, ” Torc Robotics is a leader in automated driving technology. Daimler Trucks is the market leader in trucks and we understand the needs of the industry. Bringing Level 4 trucks to the public roads is a major step toward our goal to deliver reliable and safe trucks for the benefits of our customers, our economies and society.”
On the other hand Michael Fleming, CEO of Torc Robotics stated that, ” Being part of Daimler Trucks is the start of a new chapter for Torc. Our whole team is thrilled to be working alongside our Daimler colleagues as we pursue the commercialization of Level 4 trucks to bring this technology to the market because we strongly believe it can save lives.”
Daimler is consolidating all its expertise and activities in automated driving into a global organization. This organisation has development centres in Blacksburg and Portland in the U.S. as well as in Stuttgart, Germany. Daimler trucks is also working on a truck chassis perfectly suited for highly automated driving, particularly the redundancy of systems needed to provide reliability and safety.