Daimler Trucks, in a move to further strengthen its efforts of developing autonomous vehicles, has came to agreement of buying majority stakes in Torc Robotics, a self-driving truck software maker.
With this agreement, the German manufacturer will have an access to 120 skilled staff of Blacksburg, Virginia-based Torc, which will help the truck maker to speed up the process of software development for autonomous trucks, said Martin Daum, Chief Executive of Daimler Trucks.
The company has not enough expertise in software of self-driving trucks and that is the weak point which obstacles the company’s ability to quickly develop software, he added.
The financial details of the agreement were not disclosed by either of the companies.
Torc Robotics is also in collaboration with Caterpillar to develop self-driving technology to be applied in mining and agriculture industries and has also participated in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) challenge for self-driving vehicles 12 year ago.
Daimler is increasing the pace of its plans to commercially launch self-driving trucks, which runs level 4 of autonomous technology and Torc has developed that technology which provide the vehicle with high level of required automation.
Level 4 system of Torc is appeared to be suitable for operating in both urban as well as highway driving in different weather conditions like fog, rain, sunshine or snow; said Roger Nielsen, CEO of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA). Freightliner brand is the market leader in truck manufacturing segment of the auto industry and is part of DTNA as one of its divisions.
The current trucks being manufactured by the Daimler have level 2 of the automation technology that allows them to attain the partial automated driving level allowing them to brake, steer or accelerate automatically using camera and radar systems.
After the deal, although the Torc will remain working separately from Daimler but its team will be collaborating with developers at Daimler Trucks, Daimler said.