Torc Robotics, an independent subsidiary of Daimler Truck AG, Tuesday announced what it called a "strategic collaboration" with C.R. England. The two companies will implement a pilot program leveraging C.R. England’s temperature-controlled loads and Torc’s fleet of Level 4 autonomous test trucks for long-haul applications.
The collaboration is an expansion for Torc into refrigerated freight.
The agreement marks C.R. England's second partnership with an autonomous technology company in two months. In April, the company entered into a pilot program with Kodiak Robotics, Inc. to autonomously ship products for Tyson Foods between Dallas and San Antonio.
“Torc is thrilled to be partnering with C.R. England to better improve long-haul trucking safety for one of the premium service providers and largest refrigerated carriers in the nation,” said Peter Vaughan Schmidt, Torc Robotics CEO. “The data derived from the pilot will contribute to our safety and validation efforts and use cases for autonomous trucking.”
C.R. England and Torc said the pilot will provide select customers with temperature-controlled capacity. Information from the pilot will include unique insights, and will help guide the development and ongoing commercialization of autonomous trucks for long-haul applications. Initial planning will begin in mid-2023, with on-road tests soon after.
“C.R. England is excited to announce our partnership with Torc for pilot activities on Level 4 autonomous test trucks," said Chad England, C.R. England CEO. "We believe this innovation will eventually provide the ability to expand our network safely, with high levels of service to our customers, all while enhancing the quality of existing driver jobs. Specifically, by adding autonomous lanes to our network, we can expand our customer offerings and create more structured jobs for drivers at both ends of autonomous runs. Torc’s deep integration with Daimler Truck AG makes our two organizations a perfect fit for piloting this new technology.”