Daimler tests autonomous trucks on public roads

Daimler Trucks is testing autonomous trucks with SAE Level 4 intent technology on highways in southwest Virginia. STUTTGART, Germany -- Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics are actively developing and testing autonomous trucks with SAE Level 4 intent technology on public roads, Daimler Trucks announced Monday. The test routes are on highways in southwest Virginia, where Torc Robotics is headquartered.

"All automated runs require both an engineer overseeing the system and a highly trained safety driver certified by Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics," the company said. The deployment follows months of extensive testing and safety validation on a closed loop track, it said. "As part of the comprehensive safety process by Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics, both test track and on-road validation play an integral role in establishing the essential building blocks for successfully advancing automated technology," the company added.

Torc Robotics is a part of the newly established Autonomous Technology Group of Daimler Trucks. "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. The truck manufacturer is consolidating all its expertise and activities in automated driving into the global organization with locations in Blacksburg and Portland in the U.S. as well as in Stuttgart, Germany.

"As we pair Daimler's expertise in building safe and reliable trucks with Torc's genius in engineering Level 4 vehicles, we have no doubt we will do great things in the future," said Roger Nielsen, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America. "We look forward to writing history together. The U.S. highways are the perfect place to develop automated driving technology."

DTNA is also building an infrastructure required for the operational testing of initial application cases.

This consists of a main control center and logistics hubs, located along high-density freight corridors, the company said.

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