This fireside chat recap is from FreightWaves’ Enterprise Fleet Summit on Wednesday.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Autonomous truck technology’s impact on fleet growth. 

DETAILS: Andrew Culhane, chief strategy officer at Torc, chats with Thomas Wasson, FreightWaves enterprise trucking carrier expert, about how autonomous technology is changing the fleet landscape and about pilot programs with the nation’s largest truckload carriers. Torc is an independent subsidiary of Daimler.


Integrating autonomous truck technology is “learning how autonomy can fit into a freight ecosystem. It’s learning how autonomy fits into how [truckload carriers] engage with other shippers and their customers, because at the end of the day, they have to move somebody’s goods and we’re just a part of that journey.”

Technology is vital, but getting trucking companies to also consider how autonomous technology interacts with the “operational side of what it’s going to take to fit into the market and really have a product that the fleets can use — that improves their efficiency.”

In working with trucking companies seeking to deploy autonomous technology, “we look at their driver training programs, their safety programs, and we want to make sure we understand those [programs]. Especially those large fleets. They have amazing driver training, amazing safety programs, and we have the ability to learn from those … [so that we can] put the best product in this market.”

“In this industry, [we’re always] finding the ways to manage complexity and get that initial product out the door. And so for us, we truly believe that hub to hub is the way to do that and can provide a tremendous amount of value.”

“At the end of the day, everything is just a tool in the supply chain. And we hope to provide a tool that adds more predictability, whether it’s scheduling [and having] more ability to schedule across the whole 24 hours [so that] drivers [are] not having to be out in the middle of the night. We can have autonomous trucks driving then [since] they don’t retire.”

Related links:

Tortoise and hare approaches to electrified trucking

Landing and launching terminals for autonomous trucks getting closer

Twisting Torc Robotics toward autonomous commercialization

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