Torc Robotics has announced the launch of the Torc Autonomous Advisory Council (TAAC) in support of its goal to be the first scalable, profitable, commercialized Level 4 truck solution.
According to Torc, the TAAC is comprised of key freight industry players who will provide strategic guidance to Torc as it integrates with the freight network and tackles challenges beyond highway driving.
“Torc has a history of collaborating with our partners who are experts in their field. The Torc Autonomous Advisory Council is the next step in the process of incorporating deep industry insights and expertise as Torc works to commercialize autonomous trucking,” says Michael Fleming, Torc founder and CEO. “We view this council as a vital part of our work to integrate autonomous trucking into the existing freight industry while ensuring autonomous trucking benefits are realized with optimum safety.”
The cross-functional TAAC has various trucking industry backgrounds in courier and parcel delivery, less-than truckload, full truckload, technology, and logistics. Torc states it will provide significant insights into the needs of the freight industry, validate logistics and operations development (hub logistics, tracking, etc.), and optimize safe autonomous trucking operations in the existing network.
Some of the TAAC members include Baton, C.H. Robinson, Covenant Logistics, Penske Truck Leasing, Ryder System, Inc., and Schneider. Daimler Truck North America is the sole OEM on the council.
“We’re committed to testing and providing the most effective vehicle technologies for our customers and driving innovation when it comes to mobility,” says Paul Rosa, Penske Truck Leasing senior vice president, procurement and fleet planning. “We believe it’s important to collaborate with other leading companies who are creating the next generation of transportation solutions to meet the future needs of our industry and enhancing the supply chain.”
“Torc’s Autonomous Advisory Council will help shape the future of the trucking transportation industry,” adds Rob Reich, Schneider executive vice president and chief administrative officer. “We see great potential for this technology to improve efficiency while helping to lower cost. Being part of the Council allows carriers like Schneider to have a strong voice in how autonomous vehicles (AVs) are developed and tested, and how this technology will complement our professional over-the-road driver associates.”
Torc states the council meets quarterly and focuses on interactive discussions and brainstorming on a variety of topics. The expertise shared by members of the TAAC will bring Torc one step closer to commercializing self-driving trucks.
“At C.H. Robinson, we see the potential for AV technology to transform logistics and to essentially create a new mode of freight transportation,” says Pat Nolan, C.H. Robinson vice president of North American Surface Transportation. “That’s why we’re joining the Torc Autonomous Advisory Council to help maximize the benefits for the industry, to ease the capacity crunch for shippers, and to serve as a voice for our 85,000 carriers. Making sure shippers have access to AV and making sure smaller carriers are represented in the conversation is critical. We know Torc shares that belief.”