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Torc autonomous prototype tackles snowstorm [Video]

by Justin King

The car uses object height tracking and tracks of other vehicles to safely drive at speeds of up to 60 mph during a snowstorm in Virginia.

Torc Robotics has released video showing its autonomous car prototype cruising around its hometown of Blacksburg, Virginia, during a spring snowstorm.

The car, known as Asimov, used object height and followed tracks of other vehicles to deal with reduced visibility and hidden lane markings. Tests were conducted in the challenging conditions at speeds of up to 60 mph.

"A lot of self-driving car companies are taking on this challenge, but few have proven their ability to conquer winter weather on public streets," says Torc CEO Michael Fleming.

Other videos appear to show Torc's focus on making autonomous cars that behave more like humans, in some cases seemingly reacting a bit more aggressively and assertively than prototypes under development by other players.

Torc Robotics may not be as well known as Waymo, but both companies trace their roots to DARPA autonomous-vehicle competitions more than a decade ago. Torc has since engaged the defense and mining industries while it develops an autonomous automobile using Nvidia's self-driving platform.