As a Virginian, it’s super-exciting for me to learn that Daimler Trucks has purchased Torc Robotics (technically, Daimler purchased a controlling interest, which is a distinction that has not been fully explained).
Torc is based out of Blacksburg, Virginia, which is a tiny town that exists only as the site of Virginia Tech. As you might expect, Torc is a Virginia Tech spin-out, dating all the way back to Tech’s overlooked 3rd place finish in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge.
I’m not entirely sure how Torc has survived from 2007 until now. Coming from Virginia, I expect the answer is “federal contracts”, or more specifically, “military contracts”.
But somehow Torc managed to keep the lights on for over a decade until the self-driving car boom of 2017–present. And now they are an important part of the autonomous vehicle strategy for the largest truck manufacturer in the world.