John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO of BlackBerry Limited and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opened the BlackBerry QNX Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre (AVIC). Housed within the BlackBerry QNX facility in Ottawa, Ontario, the centre will accelerate the realization of connected and self-driving vehicles by developing production-ready software independently and in collaboration with partners in the private and public sector.
Early results from the centre will be unveiled in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2017, showcasing the close collaboration with organizations from the private, public, and academic sectors.
As part of this initiative, BlackBerry QNX plans to recruit and hire local software engineers to work on ongoing and emerging engineering projects for connected and autonomous cars. The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario recently approved BlackBerry QNX to test autonomous vehicles on Ontario roads as part of a pilot program. One of the centre’s first projects will be supporting this pilot as well as BlackBerry QNX’s work with the University of Waterloo, PolySync, and Renesas Electronics to build an autonomous concept vehicle.
“Autonomous vehicles require software that is extremely sophisticated and highly secure,” said Chen. “Our innovation track record in mobile security and our demonstrated leadership in automotive software make us ideally suited to dominate the market for embedded intelligence in the cars of the future.”
“With the opening of its innovation centre in Ottawa, BlackBerry is helping to establish our country as the global leader in software and security for connected car and autonomous vehicle development,” said Trudeau. “This centre will create great middle-class jobs for Canadians, new opportunities for recent university graduates, and further position Canada as a global hub for innovation.”
BlackBerry QNX has been supplying mission-critical embedded software to the automotive industry for over ten years and can be found in more than 60 million vehicles today. Millions of telematics-equipped cars on the road are using BlackBerry’s Certicom security technology for communication authentication and authorization. Already a leading supplier of software for infotainment, acoustics, telematics and digital instrument clusters, BlackBerry QNX is extending its platform expertise into ADAS (Advanced Driver Assist Systems), CVAV (Connected Vehicle and Autonomous Vehicle) systems and secure Over the Air Software Update services.
Experts predict that 50 percent of all cars will connect to the cloud by 2020, and the wide range of ‘connected things’ could exceed 20 billion. In the coming hyper-connected world, cars will soon carry one of the highest concentrations of Internet of Things (IoT) edge nodes and sensors, generating a vast amount of valuable and actionable data. Anticipating this shift, BlackBerry is investing in key technologies and building a product portfolio that will provide the embedded intelligence that powers the core electronics of connected and autonomous cars.