BlackBerry's QNX OS to anchor Baidu's Apollo autonomous driving platform

BlackBerry has also developed a software to run computer chips for automobiles that manage multiple safety-critical systems

"By integrating the BlackBerry QNX OS with the Apollo platform, we will enable carmakers to leap from prototype to production systems", Baidu said. The tie-up will also incorporate Baidu's CarLife offering (smartphone integration software for connected cars) as well as its virtual assistant DuerOS onto the platform.

Baidu, China's largest search engine provider, has been building the Apollo system and signing up dozens of partners around the world in a bid to eventually become a dominant automotive software company. Blackberry's QNX operating system is already used in some cars as the basis for the in-car entertainment and information systems. "Together, we will work toward a technological and commercial ecosystem for autonomous driving, intelligent connectivity, and intelligent traffic systems".

QNX will be the operating system for Apollo, a platform for self-driving vehicles that Baidu announced in April and billed as the "Android" of the autonomous driving industry.

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"Joining forces with Baidu will enable us to explore integration opportunities for multiple vehicle subsystems including ADAS, infotainment, gateways, and cloud services", said John Wall, Senior Vice President and GM of BlackBerry QNX.

"Baidu has made tremendous strides in artificial intelligence and deep learning", he said. What is interesting is that Baidu is more than happy to facilitate an open autonomous vehicle platform that incorporates.

Baidu says it has more than 70 partners in its Apollo program, including vehicle assembly companies, Tier 1 parts suppliers and technology startups.

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Such a move could spell some global success for BlackBerry, as other countries are also interested in implementing autonomous driving technology with the hopes of being the first one to fully figure it out.

Now, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company is trying to transform that expertise into building operating systems that can run much more complex and demanding driver-less auto software, an enormous emerging market.

The deal was signed on Wednesday and as a result of the same, BlackBerry's shares went up by 13 percent. BlackBerry recently developed software to work with more sophisticated computer chips for cars that can manage several key security systems.

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