As part of our dedication to the future of freight, Torc offers a career-launching opportunity in all things robotics. Our Torc Co-op program and AV internships gives up-and-coming professionals the ability to work hand-in-hand with autonomous vehicle professionals, get paid to help create the first great generation of self-driving trucks, and more. In this article, Public Relations and Communications Co-op, Noah, recounts his experience riding in one of Torc’s driverless trucks.
Never would I have thought when I started this January at Torc as a public relations intern, that I would get the chance to experience the autonomous truck firsthand a little over four months later. I’m a completely remote intern, so most of my firsthand experience with our Torc trucks is through Zoom calls and emails. But, much to my surprise, Torc flew me out to Blacksburg to meet the team and to ride in one of our autonomous trucks!
Where’s the Demo Truck?
Coming into it, I thought that we would be driving along a demo-specific track, like a private road that’s meant for testing. I also knew that Gwen, one of my co-workers, would also be tagging along to guide me through the journey. However, I was surprised to learn that our 45-minute ride was a real, working truck ride, complete with fallback driver and safety conductor. While we coasted down the highway, we’d be gathering real data about the environment around us and testing our in-house software. Every truck ride at Torc is an opportunity to gather data and improve our systems, making my intern ride just as important as one of our day-to-day test runs.
To say that I was excited is an understatement.