Blackberry partners with Baidu to develop autonomous vehicle technology

By zaymalz malz

Blackberry has announced a new partnership with Baidu, having been selected by the Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) specialist to help accelerate the deployment of the company’s connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.

Blackberry has been specifically selected to develop the integral safety operating system for Baidu’s open Apollo self-driving platform.

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“BlackBerry QNX has established itself as the OS platform for safety-certified production-based systems,” said Li Zhenyu, General Manager of Intelligent Driving Group, Baidu. “We aim to provide automakers with a clear and fast path to fully autonomous vehicle production, with safety and security as top priorities.”

The two companies will also look to integrate Baidu’s CarLife smartphone integration software, DuerOS conversational AI software, and high definition map technology with Blackberry’s QNX vehicle infotainment platform.

“Joining forces with Baidu will enable us to explore integration opportunities for multiple vehicle subsystems including ADAS, infotainment, gateways, and cloud services," said John Wall, Senior Vice President and GM of BlackBerry QNX.

“Baidu has made tremendous strides in Artificial Intelligence and deep learning. 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.”

Apollo, named after the historic lunar landing, was initially announced by Baidu in April 2017, with the firm aiming to turn it into one of the most comprehensive, secure and reliable autonomous vehicle platforms.

As a result of the partnership, Blackberry’s shares reached the highest level since 2013, rising 12.9% to $16.95.

The agreement follows Blackberry's recent partnership with Qualcomm, also focused on the development of autonomous vehicle technologies.

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