Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Business | By Max Garcia

BlackBerry and Baidu will partner in developing technology for self-driving vehicles

BlackBerry and Baidu will partner in developing technology for self-driving vehicles

BlackBerry has been pushing hard in the autonomous driving sector as of late in an effort to grab early market share.

Under the pact, BlackBerry will provide its QNX self-driving vehicle operating system to be used by Baidu's Apollo autonomous driving platform.

Apollo is an open autonomous driving platform released by Baidu which includes vehicle platform, hardware platform, software platform and cloud services, with the goal to provide an open, complete and reliable hardware, software and service system for automotive and autonomous driving partners.

"Also, BlackBerry and Baidu will work together to integrate Baidu's CarLife, the leading smartphone integration software for connected cars in China, as well as its conversational AI system DuerOS, and high definition maps to run on the BlackBerry QNX Car (Infotainment) Platform", a press release stated. Blackberry's QNX operating system is already used in some cars as the basis for the in-car entertainment and information systems. It supports all major features and functions of an autonomous vehicle.

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 first list of China Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovation platform was announced by the China government on November 15, 2017, and Baidu was commissioned to build a new, open innovation platform for autonomous driving as part of the country's next generation AI platform.

The deal concentrates on developing autonomous-driving technology with BlackBerry's QNX software and it is expected to start gain profits by the next year.

Baidu's Apollo open platform provides a comprehensive, secure and reliable solution that consists of cloud services, an open software stack and reference hardware and vehicle platforms.

Chinese internet megacorp Baidu and BlackBerry are coming together to form a Sino-Canadian Voltron of autonomous driving technology.

"By integrating the BlackBerry QNX OS with the Apollo platform, we will enable carmakers to leap from prototype to production systems", stated Li Zhenyu, the general manager of Baidu's intelligent driving division.

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