Daimler Trucks just announced that it’s acquiring a majority stake Torc Robotics, a deal that will see the two companies collaborating on the development of Level 4 self-driving trucks.
Daimler Trucks is the world’s largest truck manufacturer and a division of the larger Daimler Group.
Torc, meanwhile, was founded in 2005. For most of its history, it specialized in self-driving software and sensors for commercial, industrial and military use, before recently shifting its attention to consumer vehicles. Earlier this year, it announced a partnership with public transportation company Transdev to create autonomous shuttles that connect people to transit.
The autonomous driving company is headquartered in Blacksburg, Virginia, where Torc and Daimler executives announced the deal.
Martin Daum, the member of Daimler’s board of management responsible for trucks and buses, had a statement praising the partnership as providing “the ideal combination between Torc’s expertise on agile software development and our experience in delivering reliable and safe truck hardware.”
The companies said that the partnership will see Torc working with Daimler Trucks’ developers to move into the trucking market, while maintaining the Torc name, team and facilities.
The financial terms were not disclosed. The acquisition will also need to receive regulatory approval from U.S. authorities.
“With the ever rising demand for road transportation, not the least through e-commerce, there is a strong business case for self-driving trucks in the U.S. market and I believe the fastest path to commercialization for self-driving trucks is in partnership with Daimler Trucks, the OEM market leader,” said Torc CEO Michael Fleming in a statement. “This move is in line with our mission of saving lives and represents another major milestone for Torc since crossing the finish line in the DARPA Urban Challenge 12 years ago.”
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