Daimler Testing Autonomous Trucks on Public Roads in Virginia
Blacksburg, VA – Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics announced on Monday the companies have been engaged in testing its automated trucks with SAE Level 4 intent technology on public roads.
In an announcement, Daimler Trucks said the initial testing routes are on highways in southwest Virginia, where Torc Robotics is headquartered.
Martin Daum, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Trucks & Buses commented, “Bringing Level 4 trucks to the public roads is a major step toward our goal to deliver reliable and safe trucks for the benefits of our customers, our economies and society.”
The company pointed out that all automated runs require both an engineer overseeing the system and a “highly trained safety driver certified by Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics.”
Further, Damiler said all of its safety drivers hold a commercial driver’s license and are specially trained in vehicle dynamics and automated systems.
Earlier this year, Daum, along with Roger Nielsen, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), promised to put SAE Level 4-equipped trucks on U.S. roadways in the very near future.
Monday’s announcement is, in-part, a fulfillment of that promise.
“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,” Nielsen said. “The U.S. highways are the perfect place to develop automated driving technology.”
DTNA said it will focus on “further evolving automated driving technology and vehicle integration for heavy-duty trucks.”
Specifically, the truck maker said it is working on a truck chassis “perfectly suited for highly automated driving, particularly the redundancy of systems needed to provide reliability and safety.”
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