BlackBerry has announced its new QNX Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Center, AVIC for short. This innovation center is a research epicenter within the company for developing autonomous technologies related to vehicles, something it will do in partnership with some automakers and independently. The new research center was announced by BlackBerry CEO John Chen alongside Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today. Among the stated goals are plans to tap local software engineers who will be tasked with existing and new self-driving car projects.
The BlackBerry QNX Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre will be located within the company’s QNX facility. According to a recent statement from BlackBerry, this research center will work on developing software for both self-driving and ‘connected’ cars. This announcement follows BlackBerry’s QNX getting a legal thumbs-up to test self-driving cars on public roads in Ontario.
We’ll see the Innovation Centre working on projects that will fall under a pilot program related to that public road testing. The new research hub will also help support BlackBerry’s work in conjunction with the University of Waterloo and a couple other organizations in developing a self-driving car concept.
Speaking about the newly announced AVIC, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said:
Autonomous vehicles require software that is extremely sophisticated and highly secure. Our innovation track record in mobile security and our demonstrated leadership in automotive software make us ideally suited to dominate the market for embedded intelligence in the cars of the future.
BlackBerry is no stranger to developing software for the automotive industry, and in fact it recently struck a deal with Ford to develop such software. We’ve heard rumor before that the company’s QNX division was looking to expand in a larger way into the world of autonomous vehicle software development, and this new announcement confirms those rumors.