Daimler Trucks and Torc Robotics, partners in Daimler Trucks’ Autonomous Technology Group, will soon expand testing of automated truck technology to new public routes in the U.S. The team completed initial mapping of additional routes in January. These public road testing efforts allow the teams to collect data from real-world traffic scenarios beyond what can be learned from computer simulations and closed road courses.
Initial public road testing started in southwest Virginia last year, where Torc is headquartered. The supportive state and local governments, combined with the well-developed infrastructure and highway systems allow the teams to rigorously test, develop and deploy the automated system. The Autonomous Technology Group will continue to test the next generation of automated driving software in Virginia and will add the upcoming new routes to the data collecting. This extensive testing is part of Daimler Trucks’ and Torc’s comprehensive validation approach to bring safe highly automated trucks to the road.
The expansion of road-testing in the US is part of the Group’s continuing real-world application and collaboration with drivers, regulatory affairs and community stakeholders to ensure the common goal of building trust towards improving road safety and efficiencies in transportation.
Dr Peter Vaughan Schmidt, head of Autonomous Technology Group at Daimler Trucks, said: “Safety is our highest priority. By expanding our testing to new routes in the U.S. we are able to learn more, work with various partners and apply our advanced testing methods to new environments. These learnings help us to achieve our goal of safe and reliable highly automated driving, delivering value to our customers and society.”
All automated runs require both an engineer overseeing the system and a highly trained safety driver certified by Daimler Trucks and Torc. All safety drivers hold commercial driver’s licenses and are specially trained in vehicle dynamics and automated systems.