BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) and Plus, a leading provider of self-driving truck technology, announced today that Plus has selected BlackBerry® QNX® technology for the global commercial deployment of the company’s automated driving system for Class 8 trucks.
Plus is the first automated truck developer to use BlackBerry QNX technology for its next-generation self-driving systems, which are expected to be commercialized and deployed by Plus and FAW, China’s largest heavy-duty truck maker, beginning in 2021. Plus also plans to deploy thousands of intelligent, automated trucks in the US in the next two years.
As part of the agreement, BlackBerry will license its ISO 26262 ASIL-D safety-certified QNX® OS for Safety software solution to Plus, further strengthening the technology foundation the company has built to create a truly safe and secure automated driving system. Based on the QNX® Neutrino® Real-time Operating System (RTOS), QNX OS for Safety is used around the world by embedded software developers for mission-critical systems in medical devices, industrial controls, rail, robotics and aerospace and defense.
“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 Shawn Kerrigan, COO and co-founder, Plus. “Our engineering team has done an exceptional job in completing the transition to the industry’s highest standard of safety-certified technology as we move from product development to commercial deployment.”
“BlackBerry QNX provides both commercial and personal autonomous vehicle developers with operating systems that meet the highest safety, reliability and security standards. We are thrilled to support the commercialization of automated trucks and to work with the Plus team to advance the global deployment of its automated trucking system,” said John Wall, Senior Vice President and Co-Head of BlackBerry Technology Solutions. “Self-driving trucks will have a revolutionary impact on the logistics industry and it is exciting to contribute to making that future possible.”
A certified automotive operating system is the foundation for functionalities of a self-driving truck, helping to manage the autonomous system data flow from sensors to prediction technology and finally to the actuation that controls the movement. Optimizing this data flow can also help to speed up the image processing, machine learning and other algorithms that are needed for the automated driving system to work. The transition to the safety-certified QNX OS for Safety, along with other enterprise technology that Plus has adopted, will allow Plus to work more quickly with its OEM and fleet partners to continue the commercial rollout of its automated driving system.