Blackberry and Baidu deepen autonomous, connected car partnership – TechCrunch

BlackBerry and Chinese search engine giant Baidu have agreed to expand a partnership that aims to give automakers the devices they need to launch next-generation connected and autonomous vehicles in China.

Under the deal, Baidu’s high-definition maps will be integrated into BlackBerry’s QNX Neutrino real-time operating system. The embedded system will be mass-produced in the upcoming GAC New Energy Aeon model from the electric vehicle arm of the GAC Group, one of the top three vehicle manufacturers in the country that produces more than 2 million vehicles a year.

According to a statement by senior director of technology Wang Youmpeng, the purpose of this newly expanded partnership is to “provide safety and security with a clear and fast route to production of autonomous vehicles.” Department of Intelligent Driving Group of Baidu.

The partnership between Baidu and Blackberry is notable because it incorporates a foreign operating system into Chinese-made vehicles, even with the government calling for native technology there.

BlackBerry’s QNX software handles functional security, network security, and reliability pieces, while Baidu has invested in developing artificial intelligence and intensive learning.

“Together, we can help car manufacturers quickly produce safer autonomous vehicles and promote the development of an intelligent networked automobile industry,” Unpeng said.

BlackBerry, once dominant in the smart phone industry, has been successful in acquiring its QNX technology in vehicles. Today, the software is used in advanced driver assistance, digital instrument clusters, and infotainment systems for over 175 million vehicles.

The agreement builds on the January 2018 agreement of the two companies to make BlackBerry QNX’s operating system the foundation for Baidu’s ‘Apollo’ autonomous driving open platform.

The deal with Baidu helps BlackBerry to continue its market share in China, where it is a recent entry. Last year, BlackBerry announced that the QNX would be integrated into Tesla rival Xpeng’s electric vehicles in China.

“With embedded software as the foundation for QNX, Baidu has made significant progress as part of its Apollo platform in establishing a commercial ecosystem for innovative technologies that OEMs can leverage for their next generation vehicles Are, ”Dheeraj Handa, Vice President of the channel, Partners and BlackBerry Technology Solutions APAC said in a statement.

Baidu’s autonomous driving program, known as Apollo, is described as “An Android for Smart Driving.”“The Apollo program has landed over a hundred manufacturing and supplier partners. Baidu has also been busy in autonomous driving and testing Launch a robotica fleet in September.

The deal also goes beyond automotive software and at the height of Baidu’s push into vehicle production. Baidu announced earlier this month that it had plans Set up a new company With the help of Chinese automaker Geely to produce electric vehicles. Baidu will provide so-called smart driving technology while Geely handles design, engineering and manufacturing of vehicles.