Daimler AG, the multinational German automobile manufacturer, announced recently that it has decided to purchase a majority stake in Torc Robotics—an American autonomous technology company that employs around 100 workers.
The move is part of Daimler’s broader shift toward self-driving vehicles, on which it intends to spend over 550 million USD over the next few years, according to the LA Times.
“Freight volumes will increase in the next years and decades,” said Martin Daum, chief executive of Daimler’s truck division. “Automated driving is an important lever to manage this rise in a way that makes sense commercially and for society.”
Daum explained that Daimler will begin using automated commercial trucks and other vehicles on routes between various logistics centers in the United States.
“We plan to turn this into a commercial venture in less than [ten years],” he added.
Meanwhile, ZF Friedrichshafen, another German automobile manufacturer, has agreed to purchase WABCO, an American producer of electronic and automation systems for heavy duty commercial vehicles. The acquisition will reportedly cost ZF Friedrichshafen 7 billion USD.
Daimler is working to produce, and introduce to the American market, a heavy duty truck with the ability to accelerate, brake and steer automatically.
As the world’s largest truck manufacturer, Daimler is keen to be in the vanguard of the autonomous truck industry, which is rapidly taking off. Recently Tesla Inc. released details of its debut Semi truck.
Daimler was established in 1926 and is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. It is the parent company of Freightliner Trucks.