BIoT Canada

BlackBerry opens Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre

December 19, 2016  

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John Chen, executive chairman and CEO of BlackBerry Ltd. was joined by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today at the opening of the BlackBerry QNX Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre (AVIC).

Housed within the BlackBerry QNX facility in Ottawa, 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, the company said.

As part of the initiative, BlackBerry QNX plans to recruit and hire local software engineers to work on ongoing and emerging engineering projects for connected and autonomous cars. The Ontario ministry of transportation recently approved BlackBerry 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.

“Autonomous vehicles require software that is extremely sophisticated and highly secure,” said Chen.

According to the company, BlackBerry QNX has been supplying mission-critical embedded software to the automotive industry for over 10 years and can be found in more than 60 million vehicles today. It added that “millions of telematics-equipped cars” on the road are using its Certicom security technology for communication authentication and authorization.

“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.”

Experts predict that 50% of all cars will connect to the cloud by 2020, and the wide range of ‘connected things’ could exceed 20 billion.

“In the coming hyper-connected world, cars will soon carry one of the highest concentrations of Internet of Things (IoT) edge nodes and sensors, generating a vast amount of valuable and actionable data,” Blackberry said in a release.