Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium (AVSC) Welcomes Torc

Originally published on AVSC.SAE-itc.org


Consortium Works to Advance Safer Testing, Development, and Deployment of Automated Vehicles

WARRENDALE, PA. (November 7, 2023) – The Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium (AVSC), an industry program of SAE Industry Technologies Consortia, is excited to announce Torc Robotics  and Zoox as the latest members to join the AVSC, strengthening the current membership with valuable insights in the development of AV safety-related best practices. The AVSC membership is comprised of manufacturers, developers, and fleet managers in the automated vehicle space, bringing decades of experience of launching safe, innovative mobility technologies, and working to advance safer testing, development, and deployment of automated vehicles.

Torc Robotics is an independent subsidiary of Daimler Truck AG, a global leader and pioneer in trucking and AVSC Collaborator. Torc has over 18 years of experience in pioneering safety-critical automated driving systems and is currently focused on commercializing autonomous trucks for long-haul applications in the U.S.

“We are very excited to welcome Torc Robotics as part of the AVSC membership. We expect their inputs to bring diverse perceptions and ideas from the autonomous freight world to our united goal of developing best practices to engender public confidence in the safe operation of SAE level 4 and 5 AVs,” said Darcyne Foldenauer, Director, Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium (AVSC).

“It’s no secret that collaboration is paramount in the commercialization of autonomous trucks,” commented Michelle Chaka, Torc’s Senior Vice President, Safety and Regulatory. “The AVSC has played – and will continue to play – a crucial role in driving industry collaboration to help ensure the safe testing and deployment of AVs, and Torc is happy to join forces with an organization dedicated to advancing safety across the entire autonomous industry.”

Zoox was founded in 2014 with a mission to make transportation safer, cleaner, and more enjoyable for everyone. The company is developing an all-electric, fully autonomous, purpose-built vehicle and will own and operate its fleet and a ride hailing service in dense, urban environments. Zoox currently operates a purpose-built robtaxi on public roads with passengers, in Foster City, California and Las Vegas, Nevada.

“AVSC is thrilled to also welcome Zoox into our consortium,” Foldenauer continued. “We see their focus on safe testing and deploying a ride hailing service, as complementing our current diverse members that participate in the development of our best practices. Their safety innovation strategy of “Prevent and Protect” is a perfect fit with the AVSC mission of advancing the safe development, deployment, and fleet operations of automated driving systems (ADSs).

“Safety is foundational at Zoox. With recent advancements in autonomous technology, we are reaching an inflection point within the industry. Now more than ever, there is a need for transparent collaboration to develop unified safety standards for this technology,” said John Maddox, Senior Director, Safety Policy & Strategy at Zoox. “Joining the AVSC further enables us to provide key insights from the development and deployment of our purpose-built vehicle and work together with our fellow travelers to progress safe deployment across the autonomous vehicle industry.”

Torc and Zoox join the AVSC industry leader members Aurora, GM/Cruise, Lyft, Motional, Uber, Volkswagen, and Waymo. Consortium members are working on the development of a series of safety principles for SAE Level 4 and 5 automated driving systems. Their best practice documents are the result of information sharing and collaboration. They represent an agreement on the topics that are most relevant to the safe development and deployment of automated vehicles.

For more information about the AVSC, visit avsc.sae-itc.org. SAE Industry Technologies Consortia (SAE ITC®) is an affiliate of SAE International. The SAE ITC team specializes in establishing and managing consortia by providing proven processes, tools, and resources.

ITC enables public, private, academic and government organizations to connect and collaborate in neutral, pre-competitive forums thus empowering the setting and implementation of strategic business improvements in highly engineered industries globally. (www.sae-itc.com)