Daimler invests in Torc Robotics to manufacture autonomous trucks
GERMANY's Daimler AG intends to acquire through its truck unit a majority stake in US autonomous technology company Torc Robotics that employs 100 people out of Virginia
GERMANY's Daimler AG intends to acquire through its truck unit a majority stake in US autonomous technology company Torc Robotics that employs 100 people out of Virginia. The move is in keeping with Daimler's plans to invest EUR500 million (US$561 million) in self-driving vehicles over the next few years.
The deal is part of a plan to start operating highly automated vehicles on US roads, beginning with routes between logistics centres outside of cities, said the truck division's chief executive officer Martin Daum.
'Freight volumes will increase in the next years and decades,' Mr Daum was quoted as saying in a Bloomberg report. 'Automated driving is an important lever to manage this rise in a way that makes sense commercially and for society.'
Daimler announced in January that it would offer trucks that don't need driver intervention within a decade.
'We plan to turn this into a commercial venture in less than this time,' Mr Daum said, declining to outline when testing in the US would start.
Earlier this year, Daimler said it would offer a heavy-duty truck in the US that's able to brake, accelerate and steer at all speeds on its own. Unlike systems assisting truck drivers that need just two sensors to function, highly automated trucks will require several dozen, Mr Daum said.
The US truck market, Daimler's biggest, is anticipated to soften and electric-car leader Tesla Inc has foreshadowed the launch of its Semi truck, intensifying competition.