Bhuvana Ramachandran Joins Torc Robotics’ Engineering and Release Organization as VP of Engineering

Bhuvana Ramachandran Joins Torc Robotics’ Engineering and Release Organization as VP of Engineering

With 18 years of experience, Ramachandran will leverage her skillset in delivering complex integrated systems to lead the development and deployment of autonomous driving technology

BLACKSBURG, Va – March 7, 2024 – Torc Robotics, an independent subsidiary of Daimler Truck AG and a pioneer in commercializing self-driving vehicle technology, today announced the appointment of Bhuvana Ramachandran as the vice president of engineering in the Product Engineering and Release organization. In her role, Ramachandran will be responsible for developing a comprehensive approach to the safe development, systematic testing and deployment of autonomous driving technology in Level 4 freight trucks.

“Bhuvana’s background and expertise in AI-based autonomous vehicle solutions coupled with her passion for innovation will be crucial for us on our journey towards commercialization of autonomous trucking,” said Peter Vaughan Schmidt, Torc Robotics’ CEO. “Bhuvana is a seasoned leader in the industry, and we are fortunate to have her aboard the Torc Robotics team.”

Along with system level testing, Ramachandran will lead simulation validation, with a goal of building a realistic, high-fidelity virtual environment while meticulously replicating real-world driving scenarios, enabling rigorous qualification and refinement of self-driving algorithms and systems. Virtual validation allows for the systematic exploration of various road conditions, traffic scenarios and unexpected events, helping to uncover potential challenges and vulnerabilities in the autonomous system.

Having spent more than five years establishing the team and directing autonomous vehicle software quality for Zoox, Ramachandran’s expertise extends across various domains from networking hardware, embedded software for virtualization and data storage products, to artificial-intelligence-based autonomous vehicles and their validation. She has successfully led teams through the analysis and implementation of verification and validation processes for driverless operational design domains and has experience in orchestrating seamless product releases.

“Throughout my career, I have been dedicated to driving innovation, ensuring the highest quality in products, and fostering a collaborative engineering culture to achieve transformative results,” said Ramachandran. “Torc’s commitment to advancing autonomous technology in a safe and sustainable way aligns perfectly with my passion for pushing the boundaries of what is possible in engineering.”

For more information on Torc, please visit www.torc.ai.

About Torc Robotics

Torc Robotics, headquartered in Blacksburg, Virginia, is an independent subsidiary of Daimler Truck AG, a global leader and pioneer in trucking. Founded in 2005 at the birth of the self-driving vehicle revolution, Torc has over 18 years of experience in pioneering safety-critical, self-driving applications. Torc offers a complete self-driving vehicle software and integration solution and is currently focusing on commercializing autonomous trucks for long-haul applications in the U.S. Torc operates test facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and engineering offices in Austin, Texas; Stuttgart, Germany; and Montreal, Canada. Torc’s purpose is driving the future of freight with autonomous technology. As the world’s leading autonomous trucking solution, we empower exceptional employees, deliver a focused, hub-to-hub autonomous truck product, and provide our customers with the safest, most reliable, and cost-efficient solution to the market.

New Talent, Technology and Partners: Daimler Truck and Torc Enter Fifth Year of Collaboration With Eyes on the Future

New Talent, Technology and Partners: Daimler Truck and Torc Enter Fifth Year of Collaboration With Eyes on the Future

(Blacksburg, Va./Stuttgart, Germany – January 16, 2023) – As Torc Robotics and Daimler Truck AG enter their fifth year of partnership, the companies are focused on bringing top talent into the organization and building and innovating through industry collaboration and partnerships. The goal of the collaboration is to commercialize Level 4 autonomous trucks for long-haul applications closer to a reality in the U.S.

“Over the past four years, we have seen the results of our strong collaboration with Daimler Truck and look forward to continuing to build upon the momentum and successes to bring us closer to the clear path of commercialization and safe deployment of autonomous trucks for long-haul applications,” said Peter Vaughan Schmidt, Torc Robotics CEO.

Joanna Buttler, Head of Global Autonomous Technology Group at Daimler Truck, adds: “Working with Torc, we have always managed to combine our ideas for the right solutions. The result is a fully integrated state-of-the-art autonomous truck that can safely handle highly complex traffic situations. In this spirit of authoring the future, we are looking forward to bringing SAE Level 4 autonomous trucks for hub-to-hub operations to the US market by 2027 together.”

Milestones

Team Growth

Over the past year, Torc has brought on some of the brightest innovators in the autonomous technology space with the goal of continuing to build out a dynamic leadership team that positions Torc and Daimler as leaders in autonomous driving system development, innovation, and fleet testing.

King joins as Chief Engineering Officer

In May, C.J. King joined the Torc leadership team as chief engineering officer. King, who was previously vice president of software engineering at HERE Technologies, brings more than 18 years of engineering, software, hardware, and autonomous expertise to the company. His leadership is driving the unification of all Torc’s engineering efforts to align with the company’s roadmap and key milestones. King’s experience on a global scale also supports Torc’s engineering team in its preparations for the commercial launch of Torc’s autonomous truck solution. King has extensive expertise in product development, managing global, diverse teams, technology optimizations, and new-system implementations as a result of his previous roles at HERE Technologies, Amazon, Ford, and Toyota.

Michelle Chaka joins as Senior Vice President, Safety and Regulatory

In February, Michelle Chaka joined Torc as senior vice president, safety and regulatory, bringing more than 25 years of safety and regulatory expertise to the company. Chaka serves as the safety champion for Torc, fostering a culture that values safety, data-driven and evidence-based approaches, and transparency. Chaka has experience leading automated driving research projects sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTSA) from which NHTSA published the learnings to all stakeholders. In her 25 years in the industry, Chaka has a unique mix of experience from her work at General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, and most recently, Locomation.

Scanlon joins as Vice President of Product Management

In August, Sheila Scanlon joined Torc as the new vice president of product management. Scanlon brings over 20 years of experience in the technology and autonomous driving industry to the Torc team. In her role, she works alongside Torc leadership to foster a customer-centric culture and data-driven mindset, leading the product planning and prioritization activities in alignment with engineering. Scanlon’s experience covers a broad range of applications across the autonomous driving space, including leadership roles at Aptiv, HERE Technologies, Mercedes Benz, and RRAI.

Capabilities and Technology

Torc acquires leader in computer vision and machine learning

In an effort to strengthen core competencies required for commercialization of Level 4 autonomous trucking, Torc acquired Algolux, a leader in computer vision and machine learning, in February 2022. The acquisition brought together Algolux’s end-to-end artificial intelligence (AI) stack, along with Torc’s groundbreaking autonomous-driving technology. Robust perception technology is key to helping Torc’s autonomous system correctly identify objects during difficult visual conditions such as low light, fog or bad weather. Algolux’s software is currently running on autonomous ready Freightliner Cascadia test vehicles.

Partnerships and Collaboration

Torc and C.R. England join forces on long-haul autonomous trucking pilots

Early this year, Torc announced a strategic collaboration with C.R. England, one of North America’s premier transportation companies. The partnership allows Torc to implement a pilot program leveraging C.R. England’s temperature-controlled loads and Torc’s fleet of Level 4 autonomous test trucks for long-haul applications. The collaboration is Torc’s first expansion into refrigerated freight. The pilot will provide select customers with temperature-controlled capacity and world-class service, while giving unique insights to help guide the development and ongoing commercialization of autonomous trucks for long-haul applications.

Dutch organization joins Torc for scenario-based safety validation

In late 2022, Torc announced a partnership with the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) that would allow Torc and TNO to work together to substantiate the safety of self-driving trucks using scenario-based safety validation. TNO’s StreetWise, a safety validation methodology based on a real-world scenario database, provides a large collection of “driving events” designed to test and validate autonomous driving systems’ performance according to the latest safety requirements. The resulting scenario information enables Torc to apply thorough, virtual validation, according to state-of-the-art international safety assessment processes.

For more information on Torc, please visit www.torc.ai.


About Torc Robotics
Torc Robotics, headquartered in Blacksburg, Virginia, is an independent subsidiary of Daimler Truck AG, a global leader and pioneer in trucking. Founded in 2005 at the birth of the self-driving vehicle revolution, Torc has over 18 years of experience in pioneering safety-critical, self-driving applications. Torc offers a complete self-driving vehicle software and integration solution and is currently focusing on commercializing autonomous trucks for long-haul applications in the U.S. Torc operates test facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and engineering offices in Austin, Texas; Stuttgart, Germany; and Montreal, Canada. Torc’s purpose is driving the future of freight with autonomous technology. As the world’s leading autonomous trucking solution, we empower exceptional employees, deliver a focused, hub-to-hub autonomous truck product, and provide our customers with the safest, most reliable, and cost-efficient solution to the market.

About Daimler Truck
Daimler Truck is the pioneer of truck automation. In 2014, the world’s leading truck manufacturer presented the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025, the world’s first automated truck, and was the first to demonstrate the technological opportunities and great potential that automated trucks offer customers and society. In 2015, Daimler’s Freightliner Inspiration Truck obtained the first-ever road license for a partially automated commercial vehicle demonstrating the promise of automated driving on the highways of Nevada. Today, Daimler Truck offers partially automated driving features (SAE Level 2) with the Mercedes-Benz Actros, the Freightliner Cascadia and the FUSO Super Great.

Daimler Truck North America has developed the autonomous-ready Freightliner Cascadia – the foundation of a smart autonomous driving system. The Class 8 truck is equipped with redundant functions that enable the deployment of autonomous trucking and are ideal for the integration of autonomous software, hardware, and compute. Designed and developed with a second set of critical systems, such as steering and braking, the vehicle meets Daimler Truck’s uncompromising safety standards. As part of the Autonomous Technology Group, DTNA is also researching the infrastructure required for the operational testing of initial application cases. DTNA is contributing to the successful development of autonomous driving technology and vehicle integration for heavy-duty trucks.

Media Contacts
Torc: Laura Lawton
Daimler Truck: Paul Mandaiker
Daimler Truck North America: Anja Weinert

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Daimler Truck and Torc Robotics Select Aeva to Supply Advanced 4D LiDAR Technology for Series-Production Autonomous Trucks

Daimler Truck and Torc Robotics Select Aeva to Supply Advanced 4D LiDAR Technology for Series-Production Autonomous Trucks

This release was originally published by Aeva.

Daimler Truck and TORC Robotics Select Aeva to Supply Advanced 4D LiDAR Technology for Series-Production Autonomous Trucks

LEINFELDEN-ECHTERDINGEN, Germany, BLACKSBURG, Virginia AND MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., January 09, 2024 – Aeva(NYSE: AEVA), a leader in next-generation sensing and perception systems and Daimler Truck AG (“Daimler Truck”), one of the world’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers, announced today that Daimler Truck has selected Aeva as the supplier of long and ultra-long range LiDAR for its series production autonomous commercial vehicle program.

Under the production collaboration, Aeva will supply its latest Aeva Atlas™ automotive grade 4D LiDAR technology to Daimler Truck and collaborate with Torc Robotics, Inc. (“Torc”), an independent subsidiary of Daimler Truck, to enable SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicle capabilities beginning with the Class 8 Freightliner Cascadia truck platform. Daimler Truck intends to integrate the LiDAR sensors directly in its production process, making it easy for customers to buy autonomous ready trucks directly out of its manufacturing plants without the need for sensors to be retrofitted. Torc in turn will sell its virtual driver technology and supporting services as a subscription to customers. Torc’s driving software will use Aeva’s perception software, built around Aeva’s instant velocity data, to detect objects faster, farther away, and with higher accuracy. The multi-year collaboration begins in the first quarter of 2024 with Aeva’s start of production by 2026 and Daimler Truck’s production ramping up by 2027.

LiDAR is a key enabling technology in autonomous driving. While traditional LiDAR sensors use laser pulses to sense distances to objects, Aeva’s unique Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) 4D LiDAR technology uses a low power continuous laser beam to simultaneously measure range and velocity for every point. This enables vehicles to unlock new levels of safety and automation by instantaneously discriminating between static and dynamic points and knowing the precise velocity of dynamic objects.

Joanna Buttler, Head of Global Autonomous Technology Group at Daimler Truck: “Daimler Truck is committed to leading the industry’s advancement toward autonomous trucks. Selecting the right LiDAR technology is a crucial strategic decision to safely deploy autonomous trucks on the road. We are convinced that Aeva with its cutting edge and reliable technology is the right production partner for LiDAR sensors and has the manufacturing capabilities to scale along with us. Today’s announcement therefore represents a key puzzle piece on our path towards commercialization. Together with Torc, we are well on track to offer autonomous trucks to the U.S. market by 2027.”

Peter Vaughan Schmidt, CEO at Torc Robotics adds: “Aeva is pioneering the commercialization of FMCW LiDAR technology, a key differentiator for long range detection and object identification. This means Torc’s virtual driving software can now rely on significantly higher resolution as well as farther and clearer detection of objects plus instant velocity detection, which are crucial to safely deploy autonomous trucks at scale. We have been working closely with the Aeva team over the past few years and we are excited about the real-world performance that Aeva’s technology has already demonstrated to help us solve some of the most challenging highway-speed use cases.”

Daimler Truck and Torc have made significant progress in turning autonomous trucks from an idea into reality, running extensive and successful on road test programs as well as first customer pilots. To maximise the safety of autonomous trucks, Daimler Truck and Torc’s trucks are equipped with sensor sets from a combination of three technologies, namely state-of-the-art LiDAR, radar and camera technology. This enables safe handling adapted to the respective situation on highways, surface roads and ramps as well as when turning at controlled intersections.

The selection represents Aeva’s first major automotive OEM production design win and is the result of multiple years of extensive collaboration and qualification with Daimler Truck, Torc and Daimler Truck North America. As a direct supplier to Daimler Truck, Aeva is positioned to be a Tier 1 supplier to automotive OEMs globally.

“Daimler Truck is one of the most reputable commercial vehicle OEMs in the world. Our partnership with Daimler Truck and Torc Robotics is trailblazing the next era of commercial trucking, with safe, autonomous trucks that will revolutionize the industry as we know it,” said Soroush Salehian, Co-Founder and CEO at Aeva. “We are pleased to be selected for this major production supplier award and it is a testament to the hard work, innovation and tenacity of the entire Aeva team as we cross another critical milestone in Aeva’s path to leading the industry with our unique FMCW technology and perception solution.”

About Aeva Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: AEVA)
Aeva’s mission is to bring the next wave of perception to a broad range of applications from automated driving to industrial robotics, consumer electronics, consumer health, security and beyond. Aeva is transforming autonomy with its groundbreaking sensing and perception technology that integrates all key LiDAR components onto a silicon photonics chip in a compact module. Aeva 4D LiDAR sensors uniquely detect instant velocity in addition to 3D position, allowing autonomous devices like vehicles and robots to make more intelligent and safe decisions. For more information, visit www.aeva.com, or connect with us on X or LinkedIn.

About Daimler Truck
Daimler Truck Holding AG (“Daimler Truck”) is one of the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturers, with over 40 main locations and more than 100,000 employees around the globe. The founders of Daimler Truck have invented the modern transportation industry with their trucks and buses a good 125 years ago. Unchanged to this day, the company’s aspirations are dedicated to one purpose: Daimler Truck works for all who keep the world moving. Its customers enable people to be mobile and get goods to their destinations reliably, on time, and safely. Daimler Truck provides the technologies, products, and services for them to do so. This also applies to the transformation to CO2-neutral driving. The company is striving to make sustainable transport a success, with profound technological knowledge and a clear view of its customers’ needs. Daimler Truck’s business activities are structured in five reporting segments: Trucks North America (TN) with the truck brands Freightliner and Western Star and the school bus brand Thomas Built Buses. Trucks Asia (TA) with the FUSO, BharatBenz and RIZON commercial vehicle brands. Mercedes-Benz (MB) with the truck brand of the same name. Daimler Buses (DB) with the Mercedes-Benz and Setra bus brands. Daimler Truck’s new Financial Services business (DTFS) constitutes the fifth segment, the product range in the truck segments includes light, medium and heavy trucks for long-distance, distribution and construction traffic and special-purpose vehicles used mainly in the municipal and vocational sector. The product range of the bus segment includes city buses, school buses and intercity buses, coaches and bus chassis. In addition to the sale of new and used commercial vehicles, the company also offers aftersales services and connectivity solutions.

About Torc Robotics
Torc Robotics, headquartered in Blacksburg, Virginia, is an independent subsidiary of Daimler Truck AG, a global leader and pioneer in trucking. Founded in 2005 at the birth of the self-driving vehicle revolution, Torc has over 18 years of experience in pioneering safety-critical, self-driving applications. Torc offers a complete self-driving vehicle software and integration solution and is currently focusing on commercializing autonomous trucks for long-haul applications in the U.S. Torc operates test facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and engineering offices in Austin, Texas; Stuttgart, Germany; and Montreal, Canada. Torc’s purpose is driving the future of freight with autonomous technology. As the world’s leading autonomous trucking solution, we empower exceptional employees, deliver a focused, hub-to-hub autonomous truck product, and provide our customers with the safest, most reliable, and cost-efficient solution to the market.

Aeva, the Aeva logo, Aeva 4D LiDAR, Aeva Atlas, Aeries, and Aeva Ultra Resolution are trademarks/registered trademarks of Aeva, Inc. All rights reserved. Third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Contacts
Media:
Michael Oldenburg
press@aeva.ai

Daimler Truck
Media:
Paul Mandaiker
paul.mandaiker@daimlertruck.com, +49 17630999267

Daimler Truck North America
Media:
Anja Weinert, +1-669-600-1478, anja.weinert@daimlertruck.com

Torc Robotics
Laura Lawton
Press@torc.ai

Investors:
Andrew Fung
investors@aeva.ai

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Forward looking statements
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “strategy,” “future,” “opportunity,” “plan,” “may,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “will be,” “will continue,” “will likely result,” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to expectations about our product features, performance, our production expectations and relationship with Daimler Truck. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release, including, but not limited to: (i) the fact that Aeva is an early stage company with a history of operating losses and may never achieve profitability, (ii) Aeva’s limited operating history, (iii) the ability to implement business plans, forecasts, and other expectations and to identify and realize additional opportunities, (iv) the ability for Aeva to have its products selected for inclusion in OEM products and (v) other material risks and other important factors that could affect our financial results. Please refer to our filings with the SEC, including our most recent Form 10-Q and Form 10-K. These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and Aeva assumes no obligation and does not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Aeva does not give any assurance that it will achieve its expectations.

Understanding the Levels of Autonomy: 3-4-5