Virginia, USA-based Torc Robotics says it is to open a facility in Austin, Texas, in early 2022. The 1,950m2 office will complement the self-driving truck firm’s Blacksburg, Virginia headquarters and its Albuquerque, New Mexico test center. The expansion coincides with the recent two-year anniversary of Torc joining Daimler Truck as an independent subsidiary.
“Trucking is the backbone of the US economy, and we predict hauling freight will be the first successful commercial application of self-driving on-road vehicles,” said Michael Fleming, Torc founder and CEO. “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 manufacturers in North America.”
“We are aggressively hiring key talent in engineering and product development to support our strategic growth,” added Mike Avitabile, VP of engineering. “With Austin’s relatively low cost of living as compared with other major cities in the US, and the high quality of life, it was the logical choice for our new facility. The local talent pool is impressive, and the city is also known for being innovative, collaborative and entrepreneurial. We are confident that our future Austin Torc’rs will share our passion for this technology and mission of saving lives.”
Avitabile noted that Austin was strategically selected not only because of its deep talent pool but also due to its location along the United States’ southwest shipping corridor, which is a key area for long-haul freight travel. Although the Texas facility will host mainly software development teams, Torc also plans to utilize the area to expand autonomous test truck development.
In addition to testing in other regions, Torc manages a fully operational test facility in Albuquerque, running multiple routes and shifts each day on New Mexico highways. This past year, Torc expanded on-road testing in Texas. Additional routes are planned, strategically based on major freight haulage lanes.