What do you do when the police want to pull over a self-driving truck to have a conversation with a truck driver that will not be behind the wheel? That question and similar challenges are what the Torc Robotics Mission Control and Logistics Integration team are addressing to help define the vision for a commercialized autonomous command center that Torc Robotics can use to monitor and support our Autonomous Driving System. A part of that vision is a plan to support human interaction, if and/or when an incident occurs before any of our self-driving trucks reach their final destination.
One of the many important ways the team approaches this task is by getting great thinkers with different perspectives and backgrounds together in a room, including partners from academia and the trucking industry. One of Torc’s most recent partnerships was with a group of Cornell University MBA students, in the spring 2022 Johnson Graduate School of Management Digital Immersion class. The students were asked to investigate what would need to be considered when an unexpected situation occurs on the road.
The Cornell University MBA students’ problem statements included:
• What must happen when an autonomous truck stops?
• How can a remotely located human increase the safety of the situation?
• How should a situation like this be handled, best case?
After three months of work, the final student presentation was presented in May 2022. Exceeding all of Torc’s expectations, not only did the student team provide market research findings, recommendations, a minimum viable design with an architecture proposal, and technical concept of the feature, but also a prototype demonstrating how to track, alert, and manage various situations.
“At Cornell’s Johnson Business School, we are very focused on providing future technology leaders with experiential opportunities with industry as part of their curriculum in the Digital Technology Immersion. The Project at Torc Robotics was a great example of that. We are very thankful to the team at Torc for providing this opportunity. In particular, Klara Oberhollenzer and Dottie Love for mentoring and guiding our students, to learn about and contribute to the emerging world of autonomous truck driving,” said Vidur Luthra, Cornell University Instructor.
“Not only am I a proud Torc Mentor, but also extremely grateful for the experience to work with and support young talent,” says Dottie Love, Torc mentor for Cornell University. “Cornell is one of several college partnerships that the MCLI Team has established. And as the student team’s Torc Mentor, the results were a complete success! Granted, more must be done, but the foundation for this critical scenario has been established for our Mission Control work.”
Torc Mission Control and Logistics Integration (MCLI) Support Team
• Dottie Love, RTE & Torc Mentor for Cornell University /Johnson
• Klara Oberhollenzer, MCLI Product Director
Cornell University MBA Johnson Digital Immersion Team
• Alok Pathak, MBA student and Project Lead
• Christopher Anklin, MBA student
• Kefan Lu, MBA student
• Rohit Sharma, MBA student
• Ryan McEnery, MBA student
• Vidur Luthra, Instructor
If your program or initiative needs a ready-made ‘think tank’ to challenge eager minds, then consider a college partnership with Torc. If you have questions and want ideas on how to get started reach out to Klara Oberhollenzer , Product Director, or Dottie Love , Agile Release Train Engineer.