Top 5 Takeaways With Axel Gern

We are excited to introduce a new blog post series highlighting the speakers joining our company-wide all-hands meetings.
Apr 26, 2023

We are excited to feature Axel Gern for the second iteration of our fireside chat blog post series. Axel is SVP of Engineering at Torc Robotics, an independent subsidiary of Daimler Truck AG, and a leader in Level 4 self-driving vehicle software for heavy-duty vehicles. Since 2021, Torc and Applied have partnered to ensure the safety of Torc’s autonomous trucks. 

Here are five takeaways from the discussion:

1. How does the autonomous trucking industry compare to the robotaxi industry?

“With passenger cars, you pay for luxury and comfort. Trucking is more about efficiency. That’s how we’ll be successful.”

2. What’s the path to commercializing an autonomous trucking service?

“Right now, I do not see any more open research problems that need solving. It’s all about execution from here on out.”

3. What keeps you up at night?

“We’re turning a fantastic prototype into a commercialized product, so I think a lot about safety, system engineering, and validation. We’re lucky to have a great product engineering team with amazing leaders.”

4. What makes a good leader?

“Good leaders understand the topic at hand and communicate effectively to be able to empower their colleagues. They also understand the difference between their own perception and the perception of others.”

5. How should engineers think about career decisions?

“The opportunity itself is more important than the compensation or title. The latter will follow with more experience. You need to have a passion to be good at what you do.”

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