Torc Level 4 R&D Centre opens in Stuttgart

  • April 11, 2022
  • William Payne

Daimler Truck subsidiary Torc Robotics is opening a technology and software development centre in Stuttgart, Germany. The Stuttgart team will support the ongoing development of SAE Level 4 virtual driver for deployment in autonomous trucks in the United States.

Torc and Daimler Truck are aiming to develop and bring autonomous trucks for long-haul trucking (SAE Level 4) to the roads within the decade. According to Torc, the company is addressing the challenge of reinventing the truck to accommodate a safe, scalable Level 4 product, while integrating with the complex, interconnected freight network.

In 2019, Daimler Truck invested a majority share in Torc, and the two companies are ramping up development and testing in the United States, which requires support in areas such as simulation, machine learning, and infrastructure.

In addition to the facility in Stuttgart, Torc recently opened a 20,000-square-foot facility in Austin, Texas. In 2021, the company added a 28,000-square-foot office space for its workforce in Blacksburg’s Corporate Research Centre. A fully operational test facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico, opened in 2020. The Albuquerque location allows daily, multi-shift runs of Torc’s autonomous test trucks on highways in New Mexico and Texas.

“Torc is working closely with Daimler Truck to optimise the entire product stack including the virtual driver, sensing and computer hardware, and the redundant chassis to be the first company to launch a scalable and profitable self-driving product,” said Torc Founder and CEO Michael Fleming. “Torc’s Stuttgart technology and software development centre will leverage the deep automotive and trucking technical and product expertise to make this a reality.”

“Stuttgart is known as an area with a wealth of automotive and autonomous vehicle expertise. We hope to leverage this significant talent pool to meet our commercialisation goals and support our mission of increased safety and efficiency,” said Torc Vice President of Engineering Mike Avitabile. “Collaboration thrives because of the partnership with Daimler Truck, a leader in the trucking industry. Combining Daimler Truck’s experience with Torc’s expertise in automated vehicle software and automated truck systems will help accelerate bringing our product to market.”