Daimler Trucks, a division in the Daimler Group, and Torc Robotics, a pioneer in autonomous driving solutions, are joining forces in a one-of-a-kind combination to commercialise highly automated trucks (SAE Level 4) on U.S. roads.
The companies have signed an agreement whereby Daimler Trucks and Buses Holding Inc. will acquire a majority stake in Torc Robotics for an undisclosed sum. Closing of the acquisition is subject to approval from U.S. authorities.
“Bringing Torc Robotics within the Daimler Trucks family creates a unique and powerful team of innovators to put highly automated trucks on the road,” said Martin Daum, Member of the Board of Management Daimler AG, responsible for Trucks and Buses.
“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,” he added.
As part of the overall agreements, the Torc team will work closely with Daimler Trucks’ developers, particularly with the Research & Development team of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) in Portland, Oregon.
Torc will continue to develop its Asimov self-driving software and testing at its Blacksburg facility.
DTNA will focus on further evolving automated driving technology and vehicle integration for heavy-duty trucks at its Automated Truck Research & Development Centre in Portland.
The DTNA team is working on a truck chassis perfectly suited for automated driving, 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 Trucks will enable Torc to expand significantly its team, engage into the trucking market and service its growing customer base in other markets.
In addition to the partnership with Torc, Daimler Trucks will continue to work very closely across the Daimler Group for maximum synergies regarding automated vehicle technology.
Specifically, Daimler Trucks is drawing on the activities and experiences of Mercedes-Benz Cars regarding sensor technology and operational aspects of vehicle automation.