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Daimler Truck N.A., Torc highlight continued autonomous truck research

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David Sickels is the Senior Editor of Fleet Equipment. He has a history of working in the media, marketing and automotive industries in both print and online.

Torc Robotics and Daimler Truck are entering their third year of a partnership aiming to commercialize a scalable, profitable Level 4 autonomous truck. Torc is currently testing the Level 4 trucks on public roads in Virginia, New Mexico and Texas, with continued route expansion in the works. Daimler Truck and Torc say they formed the first strategic alliance between an autonomous vehicle technology firm and a truck OEM when Daimler invested in a majority share in Torc in August 2019. Torc operates as an independent subsidiary.

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In addition to testing in other regions, Torc manages a fully operational test facility in Albuquerque, N.M., running multiple routes and shifts each day. This past year, Torc expanded on-road testing in the Southwest into Texas.

Daimler Truck’s subsidiary in North America, DTNA, is reinventing the truck chassis, a Freightliner Cascadia, to integrate seamlessly with autonomous vehicle systems, adding redundancies for safety-critical components like steering, braking and powernet. The Torc team continues developing software, testing and systems integration.

Torc says it has been growing since partnering with Daimler Truck and has more than doubled its workforce. Torc has also added power players to its leadership team, with the addition of NASA safety expert John Marinaro as director of operational safety and testing, veteran tech strategist Eddie Amos as chief transformation officer, and technology marketer Jane Bailey as vice president of marketing and communications.

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Take a look back at Torc

Three years ago when DTNA announced the partnership, we had the chance to talk with the Torc team. Here’s the story from way back when:

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