Working at TORC Robotics | Glassdoor

TORC Robotics Overview

Blacksburg, VA
51 to 200 employees
2005
Company - Private
Computer Hardware & Software
$25 to $50 million (USD) per year
Torc Robotics is a leading provider of fully autonomous vehicle technology for the mobility, construction, and defense industries. We have over 10 years of experience in working with industry leaders to provide autonomous solutions to real-world ... Read more

Mission: Torc is committed to saving lives through creating commercial-ready autonomous technology. We believe that autonomous vehicles will help prevent the fatalities and injuries that happen on the road every year due to human error.

Company Updates

  • Becoming an engineer for autonomous vehicles requires more than just programming mastery. Read the final blog of our series to find out how Torc'rs first expectations of AV engineering jobs differed from reality, plus the skills they say are more important than code.

    http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vM4rd

    Becoming an Autonomous Vehicle Engineer - Part 3: Beyond Coding - TorcRobotics

    Self-driving vehicles are literally driven by software. What could be more important than code? We asked Torc engineers to go beyond the code and describe the skills they found that were just as important.

  • Part two is here! We asked Torc engineers what software skills and experience helped them become successful in their specialty on our AV team. They delivered the code to success for becoming an autonomous vehicle engineer in this segment of our three-part blog series. Read on to discover the coding languages needed to develop the different components of an autonomous system.

    http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vM49i

    Becoming an Autonomous Vehicle Engineer - Part 2: Software Skills - TorcRobotics

    In part one of this blog series, we covered how to get started on your journey to becoming an autonomous vehicle engineer. Now, you may want to know what coding languages and software to learn in order to solidify your spot on a team creating the future of transportation.

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TORC Robotics – Why Work For Us?


Saving Lives With Autonomous Technology

Who we are

Torc provides fully autonomous integrations for the mobility, construction, and defense industries. We are experts in providing autonomous solutions and we partner with other industry leaders to bring this new technology to work in the real world.

Our Partnerships

Mobility

We strongly believe that autonomous cars will prevent the fatalities and injuries that happen on the road every year due to human error. Our team partners with OEMs, Tier 1s, and mobility providers that are working to improve the safety, accessibility and efficiency of our roads.

Mining and Construction

We have a longstanding partnership with Caterpillar to create systems that increase efficiency and keep operators out of harm’s way.

Defense

We have created autonomous solutions for the Department of Defense for over ten years. The vehicles have been used to search for and clear IEDs while keeping the operator at a safe distance, carry supplies in combat zones, and transport people for medical evacuation. We continue to work with the D.o.D. on systems that will help keep our warfighters safe.

More About Our Work

Our goal was and is simple: reinvent our world

In 2005, a group of Virginia Tech student engineers designed and built three autonomous vehicles to compete in the AUVSI Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition. After three rigorous days, competing against 27 other teams, the students swept the competition placing first, second, and third. This competition set the foundation for Torc’s core value of Winning Teams. Later that year, the students built two other autonomous vehicles to compete in the DARPA Grand Challenge. Out of 195 applicants, the team placed eighth and ninth, completing nearly 100 combined miles of autonomous driving in the harsh rocky desert terrain.

These successes generated a wealth of interest across several markets including automotive, mining and defense. To commercialize the technology and keep the team together, Torc was founded in 2005. The company name was selected as a play on the word “torque,” implying that our technology controls the steering wheel to drive an autonomous vehicle. We opened an office in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center and enrolled in the VTKnowledgeWorks technology incubator. Shortly thereafter, DARPA announced the next robotic challenge. The 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge was a 60-mile race through urban and off-road terrain. Unlike previous challenges, other manned and autonomous vehicles would be on the course at the same time.

Torc entered the competition in partnership with Virginia Tech, forming team VictorTango, and was awarded one of the $1 million DARPA grants. The team finished third out of 89 teams, completing the event in four hours and 36 minutes.

Since then, Torc has retained 85 percent of its talent and continuously improved upon its technology—successfully applying it to a variety of commercial ground vehicles, from large mining trucks to military vehicles. Torc’s R&D, engineering and consulting services have helped leaders in a wide range of industries put advanced robotics and on- and off-road self-driving automobile technologies to work, helping their businesses operate safer, smarter and more efficiently.

In honor of the 10-year anniversary of our success in the DARPA Urban Challenge, Torc kicked off Project Asimov. The advanced self-driving demonstrator includes two Lexus RX vehicles retrofitted with Torc’s end-to-end self-driving software stack. They have been operating on public roads, in a variety of weather conditions, since February 2017. Torc demonstrated its complete self-driving system for consumer automobiles at CES 2018. The driving demos of its Lexus RX vehicles showcased Torc’s autonomous technology on public roads in downtown Las Vegas.

Today Torc continues to refine its technology with continual testing, and offers it to carmakers and systems developers around the world. Torc remains committed to its mission statement of commercializing self-driving technology to make the world a safer place.


We save lives every day by inventing new ways for the world to move.

  • Make our roads safer for all of us
  • Help create the next generation of self-driving technology
  • Work in a highly collaborative, energetic, team-focused environment

Our goal is a safer commute, a safer work zone, and safer missions. We tackle tough problems head-on. We’re looking for talented, driven people who want to roll up their sleeves and make it happen with us. Do you have what it takes?

We believe that if you enjoy your job you’ll never work a day in your life. Okay, that may be a little on the philosophical side, but we strive to keep this mindset by creating a workplace that empowers our employees to innovate and develop cutting edge products. TORC’s management team is committed to helping our engineers make the impossible possible. We believe in hiring great people - those that don’t need to be managed, but empowered.

Our technology began with the imaginative minds of college students. At Torc, we believe creating self-driving technology means rewriting the rules. Our co-ops and interns are given a front-seat experience in the groundbreaking field of autonomy. We provide flexibility to pursue your degree in education, while you create solutions that have never been seen before.

Apply Today!

Teams that work, play, and grow together

Open, accessible atmosphere

We strive for an atmosphere where everyone is encouraged to ask questions and try new, innovative solutions. Our team leads are accessible, and we provide leadership training to encourage collaboration and open communication.

Activities

Fun is encouraged here at Torc. We believe in balancing hard work with plenty of games and activities. On top of team-building game days and social events, Torc’rs frequently schedule activities like group hikes, bike rides, and movie nights.

Flexibility

At Torc, we believe changing the world is a marathon, not a sprint. We promote a healthy work-life balance with flexible work hours and generous paid vacation time.

Benefits

Torc cares about our team members and we strive to provide benefits and resources to support their health, work/life balance, and their future. Additionally, we are always open to suggestions and flexibility to accommodate individual employee needs.

Benefits include

  • Healthcare coverage for all full-time employees
  • 401K matching
  • Competitive paid vacation time
  • Flexible work hours
  • Education opportunities
  • Leadership development training
  • Life Insurance

Our Growing Team

We have always been unconventional. We started with a small group of Virginia Tech students and grew organically, always seeking the fastest path to commercialization. Our motto is simple: Winning Teams. We encourage everyone to tackle problems, learn, and evolve as a team. If you are ready to take autonomous technology to the next level, we encourage you to join us.

A Home in Blacksburg

We are proud to announce that we are joining the Daimler family! In March 2019, Torc and Daimler Trucks North America announced Daimler's plans to acquire a majority stake in Torc. 

We began our journey in Blacksburg over 12 years ago pioneering self-driving technology. Though we are working with several international companies, our team intends to stay in Blacksburg.

The Roanoke Times wrote, "The acquisition news marks an inflection point for one of Blacksburg’s fastest growing companies and secures Torc’s place as one of the most successful startups to ever begin in the New River Valley.

More About our Partnership with Daimler

TORC Robotics Reviews

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TORC Robotics CEO Michael Fleming
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12 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    "Freedom for Performance"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electronics Technician
    Current Employee - Electronics Technician
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TORC Robotics full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible schedule as long as it does not interfere in the project(s) that you are part of. There is a chain of command but the freedom you are giving to complete your task gives you a feeling of being your own boss. On top of that our benefits are amazing and the amount of vacation time gives you a good balance between spending time with family and work.

    Cons

    Being such a young and fast growing company we are constantly creating new and ever evolving ways of communication, organization, and processes for success. But in the middle of evolving there is challenges and mistakes you may encounter because a plan or processes to take care of them have not been developed yet. Sometimes this creates some stress when the project is close to deadline. But overall everyone involved in the project is willing to help i haven't dealt with anyone who hasn't been helpful.

    Advice to Management

    I've been apart of big companies and well ran ones at that. But as we grow it will naturally get less intimate in between channels of communication and a bigger separation from the top and bottom. When that happens I can only hope that we can keep our original values because right now we have something special.

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TORC Robotics Photos

TORC Robotics photo of: The Torc self-driving car in front of Torc’s HQ
TORC Robotics photo of: Software Engineers test their code in the Pacifica
TORC Robotics photo of: The team enjoying refreshments at the brewery next door!
TORC Robotics photo of: Air hockey was one of many games played at the 4th Annual Torc Olympics!
TORC Robotics photo of: Torc announces partnership with Daimler
TORC Robotics photo of: Our team members at work in France, developing Transdev's fully autonomous shuttle
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TORC Robotics Interviews

Experience

Experience
28%
43%
29%

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84%
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  1. Helpful (3)  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Blacksburg, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at TORC Robotics (Blacksburg, VA) in March 2014.

    Interview

    I was flown down to Blacksburg and interviewed by several employees at one time (including a team lead, CTO, and one other employee) in the morning.

    I answered a few generic technical questions as well as a short whiteboard style programming problem

    Interview Questions

    • How do you transform data from sensor coordinates to world coordinates given the poses of the sensor, mounting frame, and vehicle pose   2 Answers
See All 14 Interviews

TORC Robotics Awards & Accolades

  • Company of the Year, Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council, 2018

Work at TORC Robotics? Share Your Experiences

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