This fireside chat is from FreightWaves’ Autonomous & Electric Vehicles Summit on Wednesday.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Working to get Level 4 autonomous trucks on the road

DETAILS: Autonomous trucks must have redundant safety systems or not be done at all,Torc Robotics’ Michael Fleming told FreightWaves’ Alan Adler at the Autonomous & Electric Vehicles Summit on Wednesday.

SPEAKER: Fleming is the CEO of Torc Robotics. 

BIO:  Fleming co-founded Torc Robotics — now an independent subsidiary of Daimler Trucks AG — back in 2005 to develop self-driving technology after competing as a Virginia Tech student in the 2004 and 2005 DARPA Grand Challenges. Torc, headquartered in Blacksburg, Virginia, has deployed its technology in trucking, automotive, transit, mining and defense applications.


“In 2019, we joined Daimler Trucks. Torc was the first AV company to partner with a truck OEM in this fashion. We believe we set an entire industry trend because today you see pretty much the entire self-driving industry shifting toward trucks. So we’re focused on one thing with Daimler Trucks, which is a pure play in self-driving trucks, and I’m very confident we’re going to be the first company to bring a scalable and profitable self-driving truck product to market.”

“We believe that it’s imperative to continue to maintain that safety culture. It starts at the executive team and trickles down to the test team. Also, from a product development standpoint, we need to ensure that safety is embedded in every decision that we make through this journey.” 

“I think the need for this technology is only going to increase. I think that consumers are going to want goods faster and cheaper. We also predict that the demand for freight is going to increase and the driver shortage is also going to increase.”