For the development of Level 4 vehicles, Daimler Truck is pursuing a dual-track strategy in which it is cooperating with two strong partners: Waymo and Torc Robotics. This strategy will enable customers to choose from two different autonomous driving products so that can they get the best solution for their companies’ needs.
Another reason why partnerships are a decisive element in the dual-track strategy is that they enable the company to reach its goal more quickly and distribute the required investment among more participants. However, Daimler Truck is very precise in its choice of partners. A good example of this is how the cooperation with Waymo brought the respective sector leaders together. The goal is to combine Waymo’s autonomous driving technology with a version of the Freightliner Cascadia that has been specifically developed for this use case. This vehicle will be available in the USA in the coming years.
At the same time, Daimler Truck is also working together with Torc Robotics — a pioneer in the field of autonomous driving. This partnership is developing a specialised solution for handling the highway traffic between distribution hubs — and is to set the benchmarks for safety, reliability and costs per mile in the process. Although Daimler Truck is the majority owner of Torc, the latter operates as an independent subsidiary and can also enter into partnerships with other companies. An example of this is the partnership that Torc formed with Amazon’s data subsidiary AWS in early 2021. Torc will now use cloud solutions from AWS because these systems are especially well-suited for the large data volumes and high transmission speeds that are needed for the testing of Level 4 automated trucks.
Daimler Truck is also cooperating with Luminar Technologies, Inc., the world’s leading supplier of lidar hardware and software technology, and incorporating its systems into the development of Daimler Truck’s own autonomous vehicles (SAE Level 4). The partners are primarily working on object detection systems as well as on the associated data processing technology and the performance of the overall system. In order to strengthen this partnership, Daimler Truck has acquired a minority stake in Luminar.