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January 28, 2022

Critical Software taps BlackBerry to improve Portugal’s rail network

Critical Software’s QNX-powered system would enable active supervision of vehicle operations and avoid SPAD scenarios.

Technology company Critical Software has partnered with BlackBerry to help drive safety improvements for the national rail network in Portugal.

As part of the collaboration, the company has selected BlackBerry’s pre-certified QNX operations system (OS) for Safety.

It will allow Critical Software to develop a system that complies with the safety certifications and standards including railway functional safety standard IEC 62279: 2015.

Critical Software is under a contract with Portuguese railway infrastructure manager Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP) to design, supply and supervise the installation of a complementary safety system.

The system will be used by IP’s maintenance vehicle fleet, which inspects rail infrastructure such as tracks, bridges and overhead lines, among others.

In order to implement the system, Critical Software selected BlackBerry’s QNX OS for Safety for necessary support.

BlackBerry Technology Solutions vice-president Jörg Zimmer said: “Increasing rail safety and separating maintenance workers from train traffic is critical to saving lives.

“BlackBerry QNX is trusted by rail partners around the globe to help them develop safe, secure mission-critical systems that they can count on and it’s a real pleasure to share both our expertise and proven technology to support the comprehensive safety solution that Critical Software will be rolling out across the Portuguese rail network.”

Critical Software’s QNX-powered system is expected to perform active supervision of vehicle operations while avoiding Signal Passed at Danger (SPAD) scenarios.

Critical Software business development director Luís Gargaté said: “Overseeing the safety of the legions of maintenance vehicles that work across a rail network as vast as Portugal’s is no small task and something that requires having a high level of trust and reliability in one’s suppliers.

“Beyond just a supplier, we see BlackBerry QNX as a true partner. Besides supplying the operating system, their support to help us certify the overall solution will be crucial to deploy it faster.”

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