Today BlackBerry unveiled the BlackBerry QNX Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre at an event joined by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Housed within the 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.
“Autonomous vehicles require software that is extremely sophisticated and highly secure,” said BlackBerry CEO John 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.”
The BlackBerry QNX Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre serves as a catalyst and funnel for the private, public, and academic sectors, to collaborate on hands-on projects that provide proof-of-concept and production-ready solutions for connected, automated, and autonomous vehicles.
As part of this initiative, BlackBerry plans to recruit and hire local software engineers to work on ongoing and emerging engineering projects for connected and autonomous cars.
“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.”
The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario recently approved 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.
QNX has been supplying embedded software to the automotive industry for 10 years and can be found in more than 60 million vehicles today.
Experts predict that 50 percent of all cars will connect to the cloud by 2020.