| 3:18 PM EST

Daimler Trucks Buys Majority Stake in Torc Robotics

Daimler AG’s commercial truck unit has purchased a controlling stake in Torc Robotics Inc., a Virginia-based developer of autonomy driving technology.
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Daimler AG’s commercial truck unit has purchased a controlling stake in Torc Robotics Inc., a Virginia-based developer of autonomy driving technology.

Terms weren’t disclosed, but reports say the investment is in excess of $100 million. The purchase marks the first takeover of a U.S. developer of self-driving systems, according to the Financial Times.

Daimler Trucks committed in January to spend €500 million ($561 million) to accelerate its autonomous-vehicle research work. The division’s goal is to fully automate commercial truck operations on highways.

Torc was launched in 2005 by a team of students from Virginia Tech whose robotic entries turned in impressive performances in competitions held by AUVSI (Assn. for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International) and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).

The company, which employs about 100 people, has since become a results-driven global consulting and engineering firm for so-called Level 4 autonomous systems.

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