Torc Robotics Is Opening an Engineering Office in Austin

The Daimler Truck subsidiary is working to commercialize self-driving trucks.
Written by Jeff Rumage
January 7, 2022Updated: January 7, 2022
Torc Robotics self-driving truck
Torc Robotics test-drives a self-driving truck. | Photo: Torc Robotics

Torc Robotics, a developer of self-driving truck technology, announced Thursday that it will open an engineering office in Austin in early 2022.

Torc has been developing self-driving vehicle technology since the beginning of the self-driving vehicle movement in 2005. Daimler Truck acquired a majority share in the company in August 2019.

Torc, which operates as an independent subsidiary, leads autonomous system development, innovation and testing within Daimler Truck’s self-driving truck program. 

The 21,000-square-foot office will be Torc Robotics’ third location, alongside its headquarters in Blacksburg, Virginia, and its testing center in Albuquerque.

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The Austin office, which will consist of new hires and existing employees, is near the Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail, where Loop 360 meets the MoPac Expressway.

The company plans to double in size this year, with a focus on hiring engineering talent across the autonomy, systems and infrastructure teams, as well as product management.

Torc and Daimler Truck have pledged to commercialize Level 4 autonomous trucks at scale within the decade. Level 4 vehicles can operate autonomously under certain conditions and parameters.

“Trucking is the backbone of the U.S. economy, and we predict hauling freight will be the first successful commercial application of self-driving on-road vehicles,” Torc founder and CEO Michael Fleming said in a statement. “This is why we’re laser-focused on the freight industry, taking a pure-play approach and joining forces with the leading heavy-duty trucking manufacturer in North America.”

Mike Avitabile, the company’s vice president of engineering, said in a statement that the company chose Austin because of its talent pool. The company is hiring engineering and product development positions in the Austin office.

Along with the deep talent pool, Avitabile said Austin’s position along the southwest shipping corridor may be important in the future. While the new office will mostly be used by software development teams, Torc also plans to eventually test autonomous trucks in the area.

Torc tests most of its trucks at its facility in Albuquerque, where it runs multiple routes and shifts each day on New Mexico highways. This past year, Torc started on-road testing in northern Texas. In the future, it plans to expand to other freight corridors in Texas.

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