BlackBerry pushes deeper into self-driving tech space with Ottawa research center

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BlackBerry on Monday opened a self-driving research center in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, potentially setting the stage for its QNX subsidiary to be an important player in autonomous platforms.




The center's launch is being attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Reuters reported. In fact the facility is an expansion of QNX's existing Ottawa offices, and will focus on providing a "software foundation" for the "high-performance compute platforms" that self-driving technology requires.

In November, BlackBerry and the University of Waterloo secured permission to test Lincolns with autonomous technology on public roads in the province of Ontario. More significantly, BlackBerry is partnered with Lincoln's parent company -- Ford -- which is aiming to have a vehicle for ridehailing services by 2021.

QNX head John Wall told Reuters that his firm is in advanced talks with "more than one or two" other major automakers, while cautioning that it will take a long time for fully self-driving vehicles to match the hype surrounding them.

Ford and QNX are in a race to catch up with companies like Uber, Tesla, and Alphabet's Waymo, all three of which are further along in autonomous tech. Uber is testing self-driving vehicles in limited commercial practice, while Tesla is already selling cars equipped with the necessary hardware, even if their current self-driving functions are deliberately limited. Under its Google X incarnation, Waymo was one of the first entities to seriously test self-driving prototypes, and it's thought to be working toward a ridehailing service coming as soon as next year.

Apple is known to be working on its own self-driving platform, but its testing has remained cloaked in shadows. Indeed the project is believed to be in limbo, such that Apple will only decide in late 2017 whether it wants to resume designing its own car or simply partner with an existing automaker.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10


    Blackberry
    StrangeDayswatto_cobrabestkeptsecretbadmonkjony0
  • Reply 2 of 10
    FYI. That image shown in the story is showing Victoria, BC (Capital of British Columbia) instead of Ottawa (Capital of Canada).
  • Reply 3 of 10
    hydrogen said:


    Blackberry
    we laugh, but BlackBerry's QNX operating system is running a lot of 'can't f*ck up' semi-autonomous systems, like in Nuclear power plants and 'robotic surgery' devices.

    I'd rather have QNX than iOS drive my car.


    edited December 2016
  • Reply 4 of 10
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,683member
    we laugh, but BlackBerry's QNX operating system is running a lot of 'can't f*ck up' semi-autonomous systems, like in Nuclear power plants and 'robotic surgery' devices.

    I'd rather have QNX than iOS drive my car.
    iOS won't drive your car any more than macOS or watchOS, but OS X might be built into carOS that I wouldn't have an issue with using.
    edited December 2016 StrangeDays
  • Reply 5 of 10
    Soli said:
    we laugh, but BlackBerry's QNX operating system is running a lot of 'can't f*ck up' semi-autonomous systems, like in Nuclear power plants and 'robotic surgery' devices.

    I'd rather have QNX than iOS drive my car.
    iOS won't drive your car any more than macOS or watchOS, but OS X might be built into carOS that I wouldn't have an issue with using.
    Wouldn't QXN be great buyout for Apple to counter (Samsung buys Harman for $8B in deal that could pave way for 'Apple Car' competition) ?
    jony0
  • Reply 6 of 10
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,683member
    holyone said:
    Soli said:
    we laugh, but BlackBerry's QNX operating system is running a lot of 'can't f*ck up' semi-autonomous systems, like in Nuclear power plants and 'robotic surgery' devices.

    I'd rather have QNX than iOS drive my car.
    iOS won't drive your car any more than macOS or watchOS, but OS X might be built into carOS that I wouldn't have an issue with using.
    Wouldn't QXN be great buyout for Apple to counter (Samsung buys Harman for $8B in deal that could pave way for 'Apple Car' competition) ?
    I don't know as I don't know how viable QNX is for the next generation of automotive computing. This might be like wondering why Apple wouldn't just buy Research in Motion back in the early 2000s instead of creating iOS after stripping down macOS. RiM was an industry leader and seemingly untouchable back then (or so many assumed).

    Note that Apple did hire QNX's founder.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 7 of 10
    Soli said:
    holyone said:
    Soli said:
    we laugh, but BlackBerry's QNX operating system is running a lot of 'can't f*ck up' semi-autonomous systems, like in Nuclear power plants and 'robotic surgery' devices.

    I'd rather have QNX than iOS drive my car.
    iOS won't drive your car any more than macOS or watchOS, but OS X might be built into carOS that I wouldn't have an issue with using.
    Wouldn't QXN be great buyout for Apple to counter (Samsung buys Harman for $8B in deal that could pave way for 'Apple Car' competition) ?
    I don't know as I don't know how viable QNX is for the next generation of automotive computing. This might be like wondering why Apple wouldn't just buy Research in Motion back in the early 2000s instead of creating iOS after stripping down macOS. RiM was an industry leader and seemingly untouchable back then (or so many assumed).

    Note that Apple did hire QNX's founder.
    QNX is a viable option. They are the best when it comes to automotive computing and I think they will continue to be the best. I'm sure a lot of people don't realize but QNX technology is also in things such as military drones, fighter jets, satellites, etc. I would say QNX is a pretty safe bet for the future. 
  • Reply 8 of 10
    Soli said:
    we laugh, but BlackBerry's QNX operating system is running a lot of 'can't f*ck up' semi-autonomous systems, like in Nuclear power plants and 'robotic surgery' devices.

    I'd rather have QNX than iOS drive my car.
    iOS won't drive your car any more than macOS or watchOS, but OS X might be built into carOS that I wouldn't have an issue with using.

    I'd definitely hesitate before trusting Apple software to drive my car. Reasons include iTunes 12, iOS 10, and Maps. All three have been such spectacular failures in my little section of the universe that I am no longer confident that Apple's way of doing things can be counted on to *consistently* produce robust, reliable software.

    I'm not bashing Apple -- I love Sierra and still like most of the ecosystem better than the alternatives -- but even though most of their stuff is great, some of it is really awful. The existence of the awful stuff makes me hesitant to put my faith in Apple's ability to deliver a product that won't exhibit weird behaviours or make poor decisions once released into the wild and subjected to uses and situations outside those anticipated in Cupertino.

    Having never owned a Blackberry device and not really knowing anything about the company I don't know if they can do any better, but I would like to see them find some success again.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    hydrogen said:


    Blackberry


    JonyIveParody gets a lot of "tip-o-the-hat"s from the Macalope.

  • Reply 10 of 10
    This is one company I would never ever trust with car technology..The way they easily worked with governments to supply them decryption keys means they would not hesitate to roll over and supply state actors with the history and realtime positions of cars..
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