Blackberry and Chinese internet giant Baidu have agreed to work together on the development of connected and autonomous vehicle software for automotive OEMs and suppliers worldwide.
Which-50 reported in December the two companies were in ongoing discussions to collaborate on the development of software components for driverless cars.
Both companies have made big investments in the connected car space. Blackberry with its automotive cybersecurity technology,while Baidu unveiled Project Apollo, an operating system for driverless cars, last year.
As anticipated, the companies have signed a statement of intent to make BlackBerry QNX’s safety operating system the foundation for Baidu’s Apollo autonomous driving open platform.
The official announcement lifted Blackberry’s shares to an four-year high, up 8 per cent.
BlackBerry and Baidu will work together to integrate Baidu’s CarLife, the smartphone integration software for connected cars in China, as well as its conversational AI system DuerOS, and high definition maps to run on the BlackBerry QNX Car (Infotainment) Platform.
“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,” said John Wall, Senior Vice President and GM of BlackBerry QNX.
Li Zhenyu, General Manager of Intelligent Driving Group, Baidu said his company aims to accelerate the development of fully autonomous vehicle production, with a focus on safety and security.
“By integrating the BlackBerry QNX OS with the Apollo platform, we will enable carmakers to leap from prototype to production systems. Together, we will work toward a technological and commercial ecosystem for autonomous driving, intelligent connectivity, and intelligent traffic systems,” Zhenyu said.
Baidu’s Apollo platform supports all major features and functions of an autonomous vehicle. Apollo has now attracted over 70 global partners, including OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, developer platforms, and technology start-ups.
Blackberry currently provides OEMs around the world with state-of-the-art cybersecurity technology to protect and mitigate, hardware, software, applications and end-to-end systems from cyberattacks.