Daimler Trucks’ Torc launches autonomous refrigerated freight pilot

In News, Daimler2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 11, 2023

Torc Robotics, a subsidiary of Daimler Truck, has entered into a strategic collaboration with North American transport firm C.R. England.

Torc and C.R. England will implement a pilot programme leveraging C.R. England’s temperature-controlled loads and Torc’s fleet of SAE Level 4 autonomous test trucks for long-haul applications.

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 autonomous trucks for long-haul applications. Initial planning will begin mid-2023, with on-road tests soon after.

“We listen very closely to our customers to understand their business requirements. Torc’s collaboration with C.R. England allows for unique insights into truckload freight that will help integrating with fleet industry logistics,” said Joanna Buttler, head of Autonomous Technology Group at Daimler Truck.

“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.”

Peter Vaughan Schmidt, Torc Robotics CEO, added, “Torc is thrilled to be partnering with C.R. England to better improve long-haul trucking safety for one of the premium service providers and largest refrigerated carriers in the nation.

“The data derived from the pilot will contribute to our safety and validation efforts and use cases for autonomous trucking.”

C.R. England CEO Chad England said the partnership will provide the ability to expand the C.R. England network and enhance 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,” he said.

“Torc’s deep integration with Daimler Truck AG makes our two organisations a perfect fit for piloting this new technology.”

The pilot program with C.R. England is Torc’s second announced carrier pilot. This news comes on the heels of Torc’s recently announced acquisition of Algolux for its award-winning intellectual property and expertise in computer vision and machine learning.