BlackBerry dials in to driverless industry

BlackBerry has added its technical know-how to the autonomous car industry by opening its own driverless vehicle research centre.

Blackberry long ago ceded the phone operating system market to Apple and Samsung but now is trying to secure a niche place in the advanced driver assistance and autonomous vehicle technology sector through its subsidiary, QNX.

‘What QNX is doing is providing the infrastructure that allows you to build higher-level algorithms and to also acquire data from the sensors in a reliable manner,’ said Sebastian Fischmeister, a University of Waterloo associate professor who has worked with QNX since 2009.

‘Our play in this is that we provide the software foundation for these high-performance computer platforms,’ added QNX head John Wall.

BlackBerry has been given the green light to test Ford Motor Lincoln vehicles with autonomous features on public roads and has signed a contract help Ford get fleets of robot ride-sharing vehicles to market by 2021.

BlackBerry says it is also negotiating with other global automakers to develop similar partnerships.