China's Baidu, BlackBerry expand partnership for autonomous, connected vehicles

China's search engine giant Baidu and BlackBerry have expanded their partnership to power the next-generation of connected and autonomous vehicles in the country.

Baidu's self-driving car (Image credit: @Baidu_Inc/Twitter)
Baidu's self-driving car (Image credit: @Baidu_Inc/Twitter)

As part of the deal, Baidu’s high-definition maps will be integrated into BlackBerry’s QNX Neutrino Real-Time Operating System. This system will be mass-produced in the upcoming GAC New Energy Aion models. "The aim of this new, expanded partnership is to provide car manufacturers with a clear and fast path to the production of autonomous vehicles, with safety and security as the top priority," Wang Yunpeng, a senior director of Baidu’s Intelligent Driving Group was quoted as saying in a report.

For the technology development, Baidu has invested in artificial intelligence and deep learning whereas BlackBerry’s QNX software is capable of looking after functional safety and network security. "Together, we can help car manufacturers quickly produce safe autonomous vehicles and promote the development collaboratively of the intelligent networked automobile industry," Yunpeng further said.

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BlackBerry's QNX software is used in auto industry in the advanced driver assistance, digital instrument clusters and infotainment systems, powering more than 175 million vehicles.

The expanded agreement adds on to the previous 2018 deal to make the QNX operating system the foundation for Baidu’s ‘Apollo’ autonomous driving open platform.

This announcement follows Baidu's recent tie-up with Chinese automaker Geely for electric vehicles with focus on intelligent and connected vehicles. The partnership plans to revamp some of Geely's existing car manufacturing facilities to make these vehicles, with in-car software input from Baidu and engineering know-how from Geely.

(with input from agencies)

First Published Date: 26 Jan 2021, 16:01 PM IST
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