Daimler Truck subsidiary acquires expertise for ML, computer vision

Daimler Truck subsidiary acquires expertise for ML, computer vision

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Through its subsidiary Torc Robotics, truck manufacturer Daimler Trucks plans to acquire knowhow in the areas of computer vision and machine learning. To this end, Torc will acquire the Canadian company Algolux. The move brings Daimler Trucks a step closer to building self-driving trucks.

Torc Robotics, based in Blacksburg, Virginia, became an independent subsidiary of Daimler Trucks in 2019. Torc offers a complete software and integration solution for self-driving vehicles and is currently focused on commercializing autonomous trucks for long-haul applications in the United States. To complete its virtual driver software portfolio, Torc has now entered into an acquisition agreement with Algolux. The Canadian software manufacturer, with offices in Palo Alto, California, and Munich, Germany, has significant expertise in computer vision and machine learning.

Focus on Freightliner commercial roll-out

Specifically, the planned Algolux acquisition focuses on the market launch of the Freightliner Cascadia autonomous truck. Torc has been working closely with Algolux for some time to develop object recognition concepts and methods to resiliently improve object detection and distance estimation, while evaluating synergies between the two companies. Reliable object recognition technology is considered key to helping the autonomous Torc system correctly identify objects under challenging visual conditions such as darkness, fog, or adverse weather. The Algolux software is currently in use in Freightliner Cascadia test vehicles in the U.S. and is being deployed in Torc’s software development division.

“As we move toward the launch of our redundant Freightliner Cascadia with Torc’s virtual driver software, safety is a top priority,” said Joanna Buttler, Head of Autonomous Technology Group at Daimler Truck AG. “We are convinced that Algolux’s object recognition technology can bring us closer to our goal of safely and reliably bringing SAE Level 4-compliant autonomous trucks to market in the U.S. within this decade.”

The proposed acquisition will combine Algolux’s end-to-end AI stack, from image capture to behavioral mechanisms, with Torc’s autonomous driving technology to create an integrated OEM truck platform. Daimler Truck expects such a platform to give it a leading role in the promising autonomous transport market.

The Algolux acquisition is subject to regulatory approval.

Related articles:

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Daimler kicks the pedal for the development of automated trucks

Autonomous trucks to take to the Autobahn

Daimler Trucks grabs tech company Torc Robotics

First full-sized autonomous bus trial on UK public roads


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