Baidu signs up BlackBerry's QNX OS for self-driving cars

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BlackBerry's shares rose by 13 per cent following a recent agreement between the Canadian mobile phone manufacturer and the Chinese search engine Baidu to jointly develop self-driving vehicle technology. 

The company's QNX software is a popular choice amongst automotive manufacturers to power car infotainment consoles and now it could play a key role in the future of autonomous vehicles.    

BlackBerry's deal with Baidu follows similar agreements made with Qualcomm, Denso, Aptiv and other firms to use its software in the development of autonomous-driving technology.  These deals are all expected to begin to generate revenue for the company in 2019 and its stock prices surged as a result of the implications that QNX could have on the burgeoning self-driving car industry. 

Baidu also recently announced that its self-driving vehicle platform, Apollo will use QNX as its operating system back in April.  Though it has yet to launch officially yet, the platform is already being considered as the “Android” of the autonomous driving industry. 

Apollo has even managed to gain the support of several large automotive manufacturers including Ford, Hyundai and several Chinese car companies.

Baidu also revealed that the Chinese company's smartphone integration software for connected cars, CarLife will be integrated into BlackBerry's infotainment platform along with its conversational AI and high definition maps.

This news is a big deal for BlackBerry as the mobile phone company has lost the large global following it once had.  However, it may be soon become synonymous with autonomous vehicles. 

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pieter Beens