BlackBerry, Baidu partner to work on driver-less vehicle software

BlackBerry, Baidu partner to work on driver-less vehicle software

On Thursday, January 4, BlackBerry and Baidu revealed details of a deal that will see them work together to develop autonomous driving technologies for automotive manufacturers and suppliers worldwide, with the former's ebbing operating system set to act as the foundation for something called the Apollo Autonomous Driving Open Platform.

Among other plans, Blackberry's QNX operating system will integrate with Baidu's existing software, CarLife, which is available in a number of Chinese cars.

BlackBerry shares rose per cent in Toronto to C$16.95, their highest one-day gain since April. It supports all major features and functions of an autonomous vehicle.

BlackBerry, which has developed software QNX Hypervisor 2.0 to run complex computer systems in vehicles, said Baidu will use its software for its self-driving open platform, Apollo. "We aim to provide automakers with a clear and fast path to fully autonomous vehicle production, with safety and security as top priorities", he said in a press release.

"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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Blackberry and Baidu will work together to speed up the development of connected and autonomous vehicle technology.

Baidu's president, Ya-Qin Zhang, will be speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show on a panel about self-driving vehicles. "Baidu has made tremendous strides in Artificial Intelligence and deep learning".

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. But as one of the world's biggest technology and AI companies, Baidu represents a major win for BlackBerry as it continues to transition from being a hardware company to one focused on software.

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.

BlackBerry Ltd (NYSE:BB) shares were skyrocketing on Wednesday on the news that the company has inked a deal with Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU).

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