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Torc says it aims to save lives with autonomous technology by reducing highway deaths. Picture: SUPPLIED
Torc says it aims to save lives with autonomous technology by reducing highway deaths. Picture: SUPPLIED

Daimler Truck subsidiary Torc and C.R. England have joined forces to conduct an autonomous trucking pilot in the US.

Torc Robotics is an independent subsidiary of Daimler Truck AG and a pioneer in commercialising self-driving vehicle technology, and CR England is one of North America’s premier transportation companies. 

The pilot programme will use CR England’s temperature-controlled loads and Torc’s fleet of Level 4 autonomous test trucks for long-haul applications. At level 4 the vehicle performs all driving tasks under specific circumstances, and a human driver can still take control.

The collaboration will serve as an expansion for Torc to support carriers in the refrigerated freight market.

Information from the pilot will help guide the development and ongoing commercialisation of self-driving trucks for long-haul applications. Initial planning begins in mid-2023, with on-road tests soon after.

Joanna Buttler, Head of Autonomous Technology Group at Daimler Truck, says: “Torc’s collaboration with CR England allows for unique insights into truckload freight that will help integrating with fleet industry logistics. While developing a safe and reliable redundant truck platform for the integration of our partner’s autonomous technology, co-creation will bring us closer to our goal of commercialising and implementing autonomous trucking within this decade.”

CR England CEO Chad England adds: “We believe this innovation will eventually provide the ability to expand our network safely, with high levels of service to our customers, all while enhancing the quality of existing driver jobs. Specifically, by adding autonomous lanes to our network, we can expand our customer offerings and create more structured jobs for drivers at both ends of autonomous runs.”

Torc Robotics, headquartered in Blacksburg, Virginia, is an independent subsidiary of Daimler Truck AG and was founded in 2005 at the birth of the self-driving vehicle revolution. It is a pioneer in safety-critical, self-driving applications focusing on commercialising autonomous trucks for long-haul applications in the US.

Torc says it aims to save lives with autonomous technology by reducing highway deaths, enabling critical supplies — including medicines and foods — to reach every community in a timely manner, and helping the transportation industry increase fuel economy, uptime, and capacity.

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