Torc Robotics expands its driverless car development team

The autonomous driving company Torc Robotics may not be as well known as Waymo, but that could change very soon, as Torc begins to expand. And the company is looking to double its number of employees to continue developing technology for self-directed vehicles.

Torc unveiled his Asimov (named in honor of science fiction writer and science writer Isaac Asimov) with autonomous driving system last year, and even held some public demonstrations at CES 2018. The company is headquartered in Blacksburg, Virginia, and continue testing driverless cars there and in Las Vegas (video below). Last year, he sent one of his modified Lexus RX SUVs on a trip across the country. But the history of the company goes back further.

Founded in 2005, Torc is actually one of the oldest companies working on this technology. Its founders competed in the various challenges promoted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the early 2000s, which aimed to promote the development of autonomous vehicles for the army. Torc ranked third in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. However, Torc has remained a small company, also maintaining a lower profile than many of its competitors, something that their bosses want to change.

"We have increased our team more in the last year, since the launch of Asimov, than in the last 10," Torc CEO Michael Fleming said in a statement. "This larger team allows us to meet the growing demand of our customers in the self-driving space, positioning ourselves for continued success."

Torc is still trying to grow his work team, especially looking for software developers. But the company has not discussed any marketing plan for its Asimov system. Torc's CTO, Ben Hastings, said the company's technology applies to areas that go beyond driverless cars, including "mining and defense."

Many companies are working to develop autonomous driving vehicles, or autonomous driving systems that can be marketed to car manufacturers. The fatal accident last March -which involved a Uber driverless car- does not seem to have reduced this momentum, since Waymo plans to launch an autonomous shared-car service this same 2018, and companies such as Baidu and have expanded your testing programs. This competition can make the cars that drive themselves come into production very soon, but given the complexity of the technology, a race "to see who comes first" may not be the best for consumers. Put another way: that they take their time, and that the product is safe for everyone.


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