Self-driving truck vendor Plus said it will use Nvidia’s Drive Orin system-on-chip (SoC) for its autonomous driving system for heavy trucks.

Plus said it plans to roll out the next generation system in 2022 across the U.S., China and Europe. Plus said it will begin mass production of its self-driving system this year and will expand the feature set and operating domain over time through over-the-air software updates. Plus said it has received more than 10,000 pre-orders of its system.

The Plus autonomous driving system is designed to make long-haul trucks safer, especially as these heavy trucks can total 80,000 lb with a fully loaded trailer and take more time to stop and maneuver. The system uses lidar, radar and cameras for a 360° view of the truck’s surroundings, gathering data through the sensors to identify objects nearby, plan its course, predict the movement of those objects and finally control the vehicle to make its next move.

The Nvidia Orin can deliver 254 trillion operations per second and can handle the larger number of concurrent operations and support deep neural networks to process and make decisions using data on heavy trucks outfitted with the autonomous driving system. Additionally, Orin is designed for ISO 26262 functional safety ASIL-D at the system level for self-driving cars.

The company recently closed $200 million in new funding in February and has announced collaborations with Amazon AWS, Blackberry and lidar vendor Ouster. In 2019, Plus completed what it claimed was the first coast-to-coast commercial freight run with an autonomous truck carrying a load of Land O’ Lakes butter more than 2,800 miles to show off its technology.

Plus is one of numerous autonomous truck startups along with most traditional automotive OEMs that are looking to take advantage of the emerging market for self-driving trucks. The reason for this growing interest is that automated trucks are seen as the next step in commercial logistics — a way to solve the challenges of an aging driver pool and the increase in e-commerce logistics.

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