BlackBerry joins Baidu to rev up autonomous vehicle technology

Blackberry shares rise on Baidu agreement

BlackBerry joins Baidu to rev up autonomous vehicle technology

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

On that matter, BlackBerry reps have already revealed that Baidu will be using BlackBerry's QNX Hypervisor 2.0 software in its self-driving open platform - which has been dubbed "Apollo".

BlackBerry acquired QNX from Harman International way back in 2010, and though the Unix-like OS was used in a number of mobile devices and formed the basis of BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry's ultimate downfall in mobile hardware has guided QNX on a path toward the automotive realm.

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

They also will work together to integrate Baidu's CarLife smartphone integration software for connected cars, its conversational AI system DuerOS and high-definition maps to run on the BlackBerry QNX widely-used vehicle infotainment platform. Its efforts have, so far, paid off, with American company Autonomoustuff managing to use Apollo 1.0 to add autonomous capabilities to a vehicle in just three days, capabilities which proved sufficient to allow the auto drive itself around a track repeatedly. 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.

BlackBerry partnering with Beijing-based Baidu to speed up deployment of connected and autonomous vehicle technology to automakers and their suppliers.

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The two companies have reportedly come together to develop self-driving vehicle technology, marking yet another example of how BlackBerry has shifted from being a smartphone maker to a software developer. It provides a combination of cloud services, an open software stack, and reference hardware and vehicle platforms.

The partnership is the latest in a series of deals for BlackBerry's automotive software unit, including with suppliers Delphi, Denso, Qualcomm and Yanfeng Visteon.

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 vehicle infotainment platform. BlackBerry recently developed software to work with more sophisticated computer chips for cars that can manage several key security systems.

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