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BlackBerry partners with China's Baidu on autonomous vehicle tech
12 January 2018, 07:41 | Cesar Cruz
BlackBerry software will power Baidu's self-driving car technology under new deal
"Together, we will work toward a technological and commercial ecosystem for autonomous driving, intelligent connectivity, and intelligent traffic systems". Much as with the Azure deal a year ago, which gave the Chinese company a trusted Western partner - and potentially assuaged some of the doubts that North American or European companies might have about betting on Baidu's product - this QNX integration benefits from the OS' ISO26262 ASIL-D certification for safety.
He added that the integration of QNX with its automotive "Apollo" platform "will enable carmakers to leap from prototype to production systems". BlackBerry will get to take advantage of Baidu's CarLife smartphone integration and its conversational artificial intelligence, DuerOS. Its efforts have, so far, paid off, with American company Autonomoustuff managing to use Apollo 1.0 to add autonomous capabilities to a vehicle in just three days, capabilities which proved sufficient to allow the auto drive itself around a track repeatedly. "These advancements paired with their high-definition maps and BlackBerry's safety-critical embedded software and expertise in security will be crucial ingredients for autonomous vehicles", said John Wall, Senior Vice President and GM of BlackBerry QNX. For Baidu, it also means picking up a platform foundation for its open self-driving software project that has all the necessary vehicle industry safety certifications, and a proven track record. Apollo has now attracted over 70 global partners, including OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, developer platforms, and technology start-ups.
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Blackberry has also recently developed new software to operate complex in-car safety-related systems.
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