BlackBerry QNX to help secure Plus autonomous trucks

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WATERLOO, Ont. – BlackBerry’s QNX system will be at the heart of Class 8 autonomous truck offerings developed by Plus, the companies have announced.

Plus has committed to deploying automated driving systems with FAW, China’s largest heavy-duty truck maker, as early as 2021. It also promises to deploy “thousands of intelligent, automated trucks” in the U.S. market over the next two years.

Plus autonomous trucks will leverage BlackBerry’s QNX software. (Photo: Plus)

The business already demonstrated the potential of highly autonomous trucks during a coast-to-coast run with Land O’Lakes, and is testing equipment with the U.S. Transportation Research Center.

For its part, Ontario-based BlackBerry will license its QNX OS for Safety software, which is based on the QNX Neutrino Real-time Operating System. The software is already embedded in medical devices, industrial controls, rail, robotics, aerospace and defence applications.

The operating system will help to manage the data that flows from sensors to predictive technologies and ultimately to the actuators that put the data to work.

An optimized flow of data can also speed up image processing, machine learning, and other algorithms that ensure automated driving systems work, the companies say.

“Self-driving systems consist of the most complex and powerful software and hardware to go into a Class 8 truck. Every technology choice we make has to contribute to the overall safety and security of heavy-duty trucks integrated with the Plus automated driving system. The operating system is an important foundation for the rest of the system,” said Plus COO and co-founder Shawn Kerrigan.

“Self-driving trucks will have a revolutionary impact on the logistics industry and it is exciting to contribute to making that future possible,” said John Wall, senior vice-president and co-head of BlackBerry Technology Solutions.

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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking,, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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