Torc Robotics will usher in the next generation of leadership by naming Peter Vaughan Schmidt CEO to succeed Michael Fleming, who will step down from the role after founding the company 17 years ago.
Effective Oct. 1, Fleming is stepping down from CEO of his own volition. He will retain a seat on Torc’s board and remain a key advisor, Torc officials said in a press release.
This change in leadership is a “natural transition” in Torc’s evolution as a company following the majority investment by Daimler Truck in 2019, company officials said. Since the acquisition, Schmidt – currently head of Daimler Truck’s Autonomous Technology Group – has worked closely with Fleming to develop autonomous hub-to-hub trucking.
Schmidt has served in Daimler and Daimler Truck in a variety of roles since 2005, including production and plant management, as well as product and platform management. Since assuming responsibility as head of strategy at Daimler Trucks in 2015, Schmidt has been involved in the field of autonomous trucking from developing Daimler Truck’s autonomous strategy to implementing it.
Martin Daum, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck, called Fleming a “true pioneer and visionary who paved the way for autonomous driving.”
Torc is an independent subsidiary of Daimler Truck, and will remain that way following the leadership transition. The company developed a software solution for autonomous driving and adapted it to Freightliner trucks. Under Fleming’s leadership, Torc pushed development of SAE Level 4 autonomous technology forward by implementing Torc’s software stack on a fleet of heavy-duty vehicles now running daily testing programs out of the company’s testing facilities.
“The aim now is to establish Torc as a global company with four locations, bring autonomous trucking technology to perfection in the next few years, and ultimately to series production,” Daum said in a press release.