BlackBerry, the developer
of phones, has opened an autonomous driving research center on Monday, in a move to join the self-driving vehicle arms race. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was a key guest at the inauguration event.
Housed within the BlackBerry QNX facility in Ottawa, Ontario, the center 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.
As part of this initiative, the company 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.
“Autonomous vehicles require software that is extremely sophisticated and highly secure,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO of BlackBerry Limited.
“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,” John added.
“With the opening of its innovation center 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 Justin.
“This center will create great middle-class jobs for Canadians, new opportunities for recent university graduates, and further position Canada as a global hub for innovation,” added Justin.
The company claims that 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.
According to BlackBerry, millions of telematics-equipped cars on the road are using BlackBerry’s Certicom security technology
for communication authentication and authorization.
According to the company, 50 percent of all cars will connect to the cloud by 2020, and the wide range of ‘connected things’ could exceed 20 billion. 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.