Daimler & Torc autonomous trucks – testing on public highways

Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics are testing self-driving trucks on public roads (highways) located in southwest Virginia. All self-driving tests require both an engineer overseeing the system and a highly trained safety driver certified by both companies.

Photo: media.daimler.com

The self-driving trucks are SAE Level 4: the car can handle all aspects of driving in certain conditions without human intervention (but there is still the option to manually take control). SAE (the Society of Automotive Engineers), determines the intelligence level and automation capabilities of vehicles, ranking through 0 to 5.

According to Martin Daum “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.”

For example, Tesla vehicles are Level 2 – meaning actually a more advanced driver assistance system than most other vehicles on the road today.

The testing of the self-driving truck is a major milestone for Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics.

Photo: media.daimler.com

Daimler and Torc have been involved in months of extensive testing and safety validation on a closed-loop track. With testing beginning, the companies will focus on further evolving self-driving technology and vehicle integration for heavy-duty trucks.

The companies are currently developing a truck chassis that can support automated driving and they are also working to build the infrastructure necessary to conduct operational testing of initial application cases.

To achieve that Daimler and Torc are building a main control center and logistics hubs, located along high-density freight corridors where customers operate in close proximity to highways and parkways.

The Daimler Group is one of the most important makers of premium cars (such as Mercedes-Benz), as well as the world’s largest manufacturer of trucks over six tonnes. The company’s founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history with the invention of the automobile in the year 1886.

Torc Robotics is one of the world’s most experienced companies in the field of automated driving. Asimov, Torc’s system for automated driving, has been tested in urban and long-distance routes as well as in rain, snow, fog and varying light conditions.

Based in the U.S., Torc Robotics is now part of Daimler Trucks. Daimler acquired a majority stake in the self-driving software maker, as part of a broader push to develop autonomous vehicles.

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