BlackBerry and Baidu have announced a collaboration through which the Canadian and Chinese companies will team up for a number of connected and autonomous vehicle initiatives.
The duo have signed a statement of intent to make BlackBerry’s QNX operating system the basis for Baidu’s previously announced Apollo autonomous driving platform. As part of the tie-up, Baidu said it plans to integrate a number of its own software products into BlackBerry’s QNX Car infotaintment platform, including CarLife, which integrates connected cars with smartphones; Baidu’s DuerOS voice interaction system; and high-definition maps.
“We aim to provide automakers with a clear and fast path to fully autonomous vehicle production, with safety and security as top priorities,” said Li Zhenyu, general manager of Baidu’s intelligent driving group. “By integrating the BlackBerry QNX OS with the Apollo platform, we will enable carmakers to leap from prototype to production systems. Together, we will work toward a technological and commercial ecosystem for autonomous driving, intelligent connectivity, and intelligent traffic systems.”
By way of a quick recap, Baidu opened a Silicon Valley arm dedicated to self-driving cars way back in 2016. A year later, it launched its open-source Project Apollo platform with the goal of testing it on urban roads sometime in 2018 and moving to full autonomy on highways by 2020. In July of last, year Baidu unveiled the project’s first vehicle manufacturing partners, declaring Apollo to be the “Android of the autonomous driving industry.” The company now claims dozens…