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Competitors in autonomous trucking | Automotive News

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Before the challenges of DARPA boosted the entire autonomous vehicle industry, Robotic Research was developing AVs for the US military. Founded in 2002, it has collected “a gigantic amount of peripheral cases and seen a lot of different operating environments,” said CEO Alberto Lacaze.

Robotic Research’s vehicles were the first approved by the Department of Defense to operate with nearby pedestrians, and its trucks were the first unmanned vehicles used by the military in war operations.

Technology from the company’s Maryland business division has been applied to a multitude of vehicles – tugs, shuttles, heavy transit buses, and long-haul trucks, to name a few. While most companies choose an app, Lacaze sees versatility as a strength.

“We think it’s more of a 360-degree operation,” he said. “A truck doesn’t just live on the highway. Sometimes it’s the first mile, the last mile. Sometimes it’s a truck park. Sometimes it is pedestrians, terrain or unusual weather conditions. People create these lines for particular applications. It turns out that most apps also need different types of battery life. ”

In June, Robotic Research partnered with Verizon, Local Motors and others to deploy autonomous shuttles to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California. In August, Robotic Research reached an agreement with transit operator NFI Group Inc. to increase the deployment of its driver assistance systems on buses across North America.