Blackberry and Jaguar Land Rover to partner on autonomous vehicles

It will be the first time that Blackberry's QNX platform will be integrated with Cylance's artificial intelligence technology.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Blackberry and Jaguar Land Rover have announced that they will work together to develop new autonomous vehicles using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies.

The two companies will use Blackberry's QNX operating system and Blackberry Cylance to develop a range of capabilities to bolster vehicle safety, including predictive software maintenance and cyber threat protection, in Jaguar Land Rover's next-generation vehicle architecture.

SEE: Autonomous vehicles and the enterprise (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature) | Download the free PDF version (TechRepublic)

Under the partnership, Blackberry will also help Jaguar Land Rover identify potential security vulnerabilities found in connected and autonomous vehicles.

"BlackBerry is a trusted partner of the automotive industry because of our heritage and innovations in secure communications," Blackberry CEO John Chen said.

"We are pleased to be Jaguar Land Rover's chosen partner for safety-certified technology, as we advance Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies to transform automotive safety."

See also: How autonomous vehicles could co-exist with traditional cars in the near future (TechRepublic)

This announcement marks the first integration of Cylance's AI technology into Blackberry's solution since it bought the security company at the end of last year, a deal that was worth $1.4 billion. It was the largest acquisition for Blackberry to date.

At the time, Blackberry said it would expand Cylance's capabilities across BlackBerry's portfolio, including QNX, its safety-certified embedded OS that is deployed in more than 120 million vehicles and medical devices. Blackberry said that, over time, it plans to integrate Cylance technology with its BlackBerry Spark communications platform.

Not long after the acquisition, Blackberry launched a security credential management service designed for smart cities and transportation services so autonomous vehicles could securely communicate with infrastructure, such as traffic lights and roads.

During its first quarter financial results in June, Blackberry reported a net loss of $35 million. It was the first quarterly report since the company reorganised into three business units: IoT, Blackberry Cylance, and Licensing.

At the time, Chen noted the company's integration with Cylance was ahead of schedule, with back-office, personnel, sales and R&D teams almost completely merged. 

"We expect [the Cylance integration] to be done within this fiscal year," Chen said.

"It will be done meaning to be released as a product, so that's reasonably record time. The next team that has launched is to look into putting Cylance AI technology on to the automotive platform, on the QNX. That's going on very well, too. So I think, on the technological side, it's very, very positive."

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