Blackberry and Baidu confirm self-driving vehicle partnership

Lloyd Doyle
January 5, 2018

Chinese search-engine giant Baidu Inc. has selected BlackBerry provide the safety operating system for the Apollo autonomous driving system, which is being developed in co-operation with several vehicle makers.

The new agreement will see the two tech companies collaborate on the development of self-driving vehicle technology. The companies will collaborate to integrate Baidu's CarLife smartphone software for connected cars in China as well as its DuerOS artificial intelligence platform and high definition maps with the BlackBerry QNX auto platform.

BlackBerry's QNX unit has always been a leader in building systems to run entertainment and mapping programs in cars. The partnership with Baidu may give BlackBerry the tools they need to break into this new industry, but it may be a long road if they hope to catch up with industry powerhouses like Tesla.

For its fiscal third quarter ended November 30, BlackBerry reported non-GAAP earnings of 3 cents a share on revenue of $226 million, down from $289 million a year ago. As part of the tie-up, Baidu said it plans to integrate a number of its own software products into BlackBerry's QNX Car infotaintment platform, including CarLife, which integrates connected cars with smartphones; Baidu's DuerOS voice interaction system; and high-definition maps. It supports all major features and functions of an autonomous vehicle.

"Baidu has made tremendous strides in Artificial Intelligence and deep learning", said John Wall, GM of Blackberry's QNX unit. "Together, we will work toward a technological and commercial ecosystem for autonomous driving, intelligent connectivity, and intelligent traffic systems". "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". "By integrating the BlackBerry QNX OS with the Apollo platform, we will enable carmakers to leap from prototype to production systems".

It announced last month that it will partner with Japan-based Denso Corp., one of Toyota's technology suppliers, to work with Intel to develop an integrated platform for co-ordinating various human-machine interfaces.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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