Refrigeratedtransporter 3805 Daimler Trucks Torc Acquisition

Daimler Trucks, Torc Robotics team up to tackle automation

April 2, 2019
Daimler Trucks and Torc are joining forces in a “one-of-a-kind” combination to commercialize highly automated trucks on US roads.

Daimler Trucks, a manufacturer of heavy and medium trucks, and Torc Robotics, a pioneer in autonomous driving solutions, are joining forces in a “one-of-a-kind” combination to commercialize highly automated trucks (SAE Level 4) on US roads, the two companies said.

Going beyond a traditional OEM/supplier relationship, Daimler and Torc recently signed an agreement for Daimler AG’s subsidiary, Daimler Trucks and Buses Holding, to acquire a majority stake in Torc Robotics for an undisclosed sum.

Closing of the acquisition is subject to approval from US authorities.

Michael Fleming, CEO of Torc Robotics, Martin Daum, a member of Daimler AG’s management board who’s responsible for trucks and buses, and Roger Nielsen, CEO of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), announced the strategic move at Torc headquarters in Blacksburg VA.

“With the ever-rising demand for road transportation, not the least through e-commerce, there is a strong business case for self-driving trucks in the US market and I believe the fastest path to commercialization for self-driving trucks is in partnership with Daimler Trucks, the OEM market leader,” Fleming said.

“This move is in line with our mission of saving lives and represents another major milestone for Torc since crossing the finish line in the DARPA Urban Challenge 12 years ago.”

Added Daum: “Bringing Torc Robotics within the Daimler Trucks family creates a unique and powerful team of innovators to put highly automated trucks on the road. Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics complement each other perfectly in terms of resources, expertise and skill sets. We are forming the ideal combination between Torc’s expertise on agile software development and our experience in delivering reliable and safe truck hardware.

“Together, we will provide a sustainable way for our customers to meet the ever-growing freight demand and benefit both the economy and society.”

As part of the overall agreements, the Torc team will work closely with Daimler Trucks developers, particularly with the research and development team of DTNA in Portland OR, the companies said. Torc will continue to develop its Asimov self-driving software and testing at its Blacksburg facility.

At the same time, DTNA will focus on evolving automated driving technology and vehicle integration for heavy-duty trucks at its automated truck research and development center in Portland. The DTNA team is working on a truck chassis suited for automated driving, DTNA said, particularly the redundancy of systems needed to provide the maximum level of reliability and safety.

Under the agreement, Torc will remain a separate entity retaining its name, team, existing customers and facilities in Blacksburg. The partnership with Daimler will enable Torc to expand significantly its team, and to engage in the trucking market and service its growing customer base in other markets.

“Torc is not a start-up, but one of the world’s most experienced companies for vehicle automation,” Nielsen said. “Torc takes a practical approach to commercialization and offers advanced, road-ready technology, plus years of experience in heavy vehicles. Torc’s Level 4 system has been shown to operate well for both urban and highway driving in rain, snow, fog and sunshine.”

About the Author

Informa Commercial Vehicle Staff

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Leveraging telematics to get the most from insurance

Fleet owners are quickly adopting telematics as part of their risk mitigation strategy. Here’s why.

Reliable EV Charging Solution for Last-Mile Delivery Fleets

Selecting the right EV charging infrastructure and the right partner to best solve your needs are critical. Learn which solution PepsiCo is choosing to power their fleet and help...

Overcoming Common Roadblocks Associated with Fleet Electrification at Scale

Fleets in the United States, are increasingly transitioning from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles. While this shift presents challenges, there are strategies...

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...