Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Blackberry, Baidu to cooperate on autonomous technology

BlackBerry and Baidu team up on Apollo driverless cars Blackberry, Baidu to cooperate on autonomous technology
Nellie Chapman | 12 January, 2018, 19:45

Ontario- Software major BlackBerry and leading Chinese Internet search provider Baidu on Thursday announced a collaboration to accelerate the deployment of connected and autonomous vehicle technology for automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers worldwide.

Blackberry shares closed 12.85% higher at CA$16.95 Wednesday in Canada, the highest level since 2013.

Baidu is not new to autonomous vehicle development either, having signed several deals with Nvidia Corp.in the past as well as dedicating $1.5 billion to an autonomous vehicle fund in September. The two parties are also entering a congested market as all tech giants have been seeking to develop their own self-driving platforms that could define what the streets look like in the future.

BlackBerry's QNX unit has always been a leader in building systems to run entertainment and mapping programs in cars.

Investors likely approve of this latest deal, as there is a widely held view the QNX system could become the "Android" operating system of the autonomous vehicle industry. Although the company references its website in this news release, information on the website is not to be incorporated herein. Baidu CarLife, its integration software for connected cars which is primarily used in China, along with its DuerOS conversational AI and high-definition maps will be ported to the QNX Car (Infotainment) Platform.

The companies also plan to integrate Baidu's CarLife software for connecting smartphones and cars, Baidu's DuerOS AI conversational system and the BlackBerry QNX auto 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.

Meanwhile Baidu was also upbeat on the agreement.

The companies say BlackBerry's QNX automotive unit has been selected to provide the ASIL-D safety operating system for Apollo, which Baidu has been championing as an open-source technology program. "We aim to provide automakers with a clear and fast path to autonomous vehicle production, with safety and security as top priorities".