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Torc Robotics tractors will haul freight for Schneider, which in turn will provide logistical insights and other feedback to help the technology company develop commercial autonomous trucking applications.
“We see great potential for Torc’s autonomous technology to improve freight efficiencies while helping to lower cost,” said Rob Reich, EVP and CAO of Schneider, which is No. 11 on the FleetOwner 500: Top For-Hire Fleets of 2022 list and is among the 10 largest general freight carriers in the U.S. “Schneider is looking forward to providing Torc with the industry and operational knowledge needed to maximize the potential of autonomous trucks.”
As part of the agreement, Schneider will provide freight loads for Torc’s pilot operations and offer insights on truckload freight that will help guide Torc’s development and commercialization of autonomous trucks for long-haul applications.
Torc, founded in 2007, is one of the oldest autonomous technology companies in the U.S., and Schneider is part of Torc’s Autonomous Advisory Council, which the robotics company created earlier this year.
“Schneider is an undisputed leader in the industry,” said Michael Fleming, Torc founder and CEO. “Many of trucking’s best practices and breakthroughs stem from Schneider’s forward-thinking approach. This relationship with Schneider is a significant step for the operational development of our product as we continue to work toward a seamless integration with the existing freight industry.”
The new agreement with Schneider will be multi-phased, launching from initial scouting work the companies have already completed. Through Torc’s Test/Discover/Iterate approach, initial evaluation began to ensure Torc’s systems achieve the requirements for Schneider and its customers. The following steps include system integration and day-to-day commercial operation pilots throughout 2023 and beyond. The end goal of the effort is to hone the product trajectory into an industry-guided usable solution.