Frank Mabry, senior freight analyst on Torc’s corporate strategy team, took to the stage at MOVE America 2022 in Austin, Texas on September 27, leading a roundtable discussion on the impact of autonomous technology in the freight network.

After starting out with a recap of the Torc story, and explaining our relationship with Daimler Truck, Frank took questions from the audience, using his extensive experience in freight as the backdrop of what autonomy will be able to do.

“We’re going to enhance the industry. There will always be the need for drivers. Our model is building the best autonomous vehicles out there, and selling them to the customers to handle the logistics and integration. That is why focusing on the hub-to-hub middle mile solution is the key spot,” says Frank.

Roundtable Questions

Q: How will companies, such as Costco and Walmart, who have multiple trucks and logistics platforms work with different autonomous software and infrastructures?

Frank gave high point information on Torc’s work on most-common freight routes and areas, along with tailored Mission Control software to integrate with current freight logistics software. Collaboration with and within these companies will be key.

Q: What will the relationship look like between Torc and a freight customer on integration?

Frank explained Torc’s growing and increasing number of partnerships — both as a customer and as a partner — with companies such as Schneider and Penske, as well as other TAAC members, to inform.

Q: How do you define and find safety with autonomous trucking?

Frank explains that the software is specifically designed to not get into unsafe situations. “The programing around the incidents is the goal,” replied Frank.

Frank went on to discuss hub drop-off and pick-up, especially through the I-40 corridor, as well as addressing a section of the increasing driver shortage problem. More discussion surrounding data sharing, predictive analytics, and shipment classification; and finally, the necessary need for collaboration with all of the different partners throughout the freight industry rounded out the hour.

Frank Mabry spent 30 years working with freight logistics companies and in the trucking industry as a whole. He can be reached at Torc is a diamond sponsor of this year’s MOVE America event, running September 27-28, 2022 in Austin.