Plus AI Updates

By Patrick Moorhead - December 20, 2023

The Six Five team discusses the Plus AI Updates.

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Patrick Moorhead: So hey, we’re going to change the topic completely to a company that does assisted trucking technology for safety all the way from, I’ll call it an L2+ all the way up to L4 Dan, and we haven’t talked about them lately. We had a great conversation with CEO David Liu, but it’s time to get them back on here because some really interesting stuff has happened. So first of all, plus divested all Chinese operations from let’s call it western operations. And what that does is I believe is it really opens them up for the opportunity without people like the TSA getting in the way that, oh, they’re our relationship with China and I think this is really good. We saw an announcement with Luminar for AI-based assisted driving software for trucking.

We saw an announcement for Iveco on public roads in Germany. But I think the big announcement where things really start to get real is when you start bringing plus, the company, Iveco, the transport company, and then an actual customer, which is basically a drug company in Germany. I speak German, I won’t go down that, I won’t impress you all, but essentially it’s a pilot program like a-

Daniel Newman: Come on. No, no, no. Do it. Do the rest of the segment in German.

Patrick Moorhead: [German 00:42:48] Daniel.

Daniel Newman: Next time I tell people I’m classically trained in the piano, I’m waiting for someone to make me sit down and play because I did study for 14 years, but I would fumble all over myself if I had to do it public. All right, sorry, digress. Go ahead.

Patrick Moorhead: No Dan, it’s all about you. We can pause.

Daniel Newman: I want to hear you speak German. I just, I don’t know, I just like listening to you talk. Your dog’s cute. Your dog’s really cute.

Patrick Moorhead: [German 00:43:11] Daniel. Anyways, so pilot program, it’s a four way partnership. First of all, DM, this is European’s largest drugstore, real chain DSV, like I said, one of the top three freight forwarders, Iveco, they make trucks and then plus, which is the topic of this conversation. Anyways, I’m excited to see what comes out of the pilot, but imagine these four companies coming together, increasing safety for trucks. And Dan, you might know a little bit about trucks. I don’t know, just a guess.

Daniel Newman: I may or may not have grown up in the business, if that’s what you’re asking.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, so anyways, further momentum from, plus it’s great to see as we turn this science fiction into reality.

Yeah Pat, I did actually have a chance to chat one-on-one with David Liu a few weeks back and it’s moved really quickly. I mean look, the company’s got more focus now. I think it’s divestiture of its Chinese operation is good for the business’s ability to be successful here. I do think right now it’s funny, I had a significant Russian cybersecurity company reach out to me about doing some work and I’m like, yeah, no, right now geopolitics are a hard thing to talk about, but they are a real thing. And right now the ability to grow a business here in the United States is always going to be hampered if you have too much of your core operations tied back to China.

The trucking industry by the way, pat is incredibly important in safety and insurance in these industries are very expensive. So if you’re an operator in the space, anything you can do to reduce risk is really important. If you are a consumer of goods and services, we need safe, reliable transport on the road, moving things from place to place. And by the way, pat, no matter how much we automate and build autonomy, we will never replace trucks. We might replace drivers, but you still need wheels and motors and big, oh by the way, it could be electric motors but in big containers full of stuff to get our stuff to that Amazon warehouse. That’s the reality of the world.

This is a company that’s building product that’s available today, this is a company that’s building product that will be available in the future. And I like the fact that they’ve been very honest about what they are, right now they’re focused on assisting current drivers to do the job more safely, longer term they’re focused on of course moving towards full autonomy because that is directionally where we are moving. But you and I have ridden in the back of one of these trucks, Pat, we’ve watched the driver pull us onto a major California interstate with, he had his hands on the wheel but he didn’t really need to, and that was pretty cool. So good stuff from plus, congratulations on all the progress. Like I said, iteration can be innovation. They’re moving along and I think we’ll be back probably sometime in the first half of next year with an update.

Patrick Moorhead

Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.