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10 07 2018 03

Autonomous-driving company Torc Robotics may not be as well known as, say, Waymo, but that may change soon as Torc looks to expand. The company is looking to nearly double its number of employees in order to continue developing tech for self-driving cars.

Torc unveiled its Asimov (named after science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov) autonomous-driving system last year, and gave public demonstrations at CES 2018. The company is headquartered in Blacksburg, Virginia, and continues to test self-driving cars there and in Las Vegas. Last year, it sent one of its modified Lexus RX SUVs on a cross-country trip. But the company’s history goes back further.

Founded in 2005, Torc is actually one of the oldest dedicated companies working on self-driving cars. Its founders competed in the various Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) challenges of the early 2000s, which were meant to kickstart development of autonomous vehicles for the military. Torc placed third in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. Yet Torc has remained smaller and generally kept a lower profile than many of its competitors, something its bosses want to change.

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