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Autonomous Trucking, Supply Chain Woes, and Infrastructure: Torc Robotics Weighs In on crucial topics ahead of SAE Government/Industry Meeting

Posted: December 21, 2021

The holiday season has emphasized stresses for many as they prepare for family gatherings and gift exchanges, but the brightest spotlight has fallen over the global supply chain issues that have been amplified by the pandemic.

Shipping delays and inflation brought on by a shortage of truck drivers unable to deliver goods show no signs of going away any time soon, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Mobility innovators are hard at work trying to crack autonomous trucking, which would provide some much-needed relief to these supply chain woes. Still, there’s the questions of road safety, and how such technology would work within the larger transportation infrastructure of the United States and other countries.

SAE International’s industry-defining standard SAEJ3016 “Levels of Driving Automation” has provided guidance for engineers working toward autonomy, and more standards are in development to help guide technology development and standardize the way autonomous vehicles share data to alert one another about pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles on the road.

When it comes to applying the levels of autonomy established by SAE J3016 to trucking, Torc Robotics is working toward a technology revolution that allows freight haulers to transport goods more efficiently and safely. Torc has partnered with Daimler Trucks to work toward developing a fleet with truly integrated software and hardware built specifically for Level 4 driving.

“Torc sees commercializing autonomy as a complimentary technology to the existing trucking business. We are supporting innovation,” said Torc Chief Strategy Officer Andrew Culhane. “While commercialization at scale is a few years away, autonomous trucks will be a part of the future solution to supply chain woes. Deployed correctly, it will fill worker gaps in most critical applications and as the modality evolves, and it will bring new job opportunities within transportation and supporting industries. This will create a healthy, dependable supply chain that will improve the overall job market.”

The Torc approach includes a large amount of collaboration with industry and government leaders as well as local community members with the end goal to develop an infrastructure that will allow trucks to transport freight on highways between customer hubs.

“Torc is engaging with multiple members of the freight industry – not only those who could be first adopters, but other companies and supporting teams who make up the vast ecosystem of goods transportation,” said Culhane.

As the industry considers innovations like those happening at Torc, leaders must consider the impacts that legislation has on vehicle design from R&D to customer acceptance. At SAE’s Government/Industry meeting, we’re convening mobility and government leaders to share their perspectives, help influence one another, and tackle challenges as a unified force, thanks to support from sponsors like Torc Robotics.

Want to be a part of the mobility revolution? Join us in Washington, D.C. January 18-20 to hear from government regulatory agencies and the OEM community addressing the latest areas of critical importance to the mobility industry, including safety, emissions, fuel efficiency, and automated vehicles. Register here.