Trudeau gov’t invests $40M in BlackBerry QNX for autonomous vehicle tech

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Canadian government that it will invest $40 million in BlackBerry QNX, a business unit of BlackBerry Ltd, which develops safe and secure software systems for the next generation of connected an autonomous vehicles.  Government of Canada photo.

BlackBerry QNX technology embedded in over 120 million vehicles

The government of Canada is investing $40 million in BlackBerry QNX, a business unit of BlackBerry, which develops safe and secure software systems for the next generation of connected and autonomous vehicles.

BlackBerry QNX’s technology is already being used in 120 million vehicles on the road today.  According to a Government of Canada press release, it is used by the top seven automotive Tier 1s, and by over 40 OEMs including Audi, BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, KIA, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Toyota, and Volkswagen.

The Canadian-based company partners with automotive Tier 1s, like Aptiv, Bosch, Denso, Panasonic and Visteon, and silicon partners, such as Intel, Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Renesas.

“The race for a top spot in the new economy has already begun, and if we want to see Canadians take the lead, we need to have their backs,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

BlackBerry QNX says it will develop new automated control systems, upgrade and secure communications in vehicles, and improve vehicle safety and security by expanding its advanced driver-assistance system.

According to a Government of Canada press release, the company will also “develop and use concept cars as labs for technology and software development.”

Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development said “We are betting on innovation driving our success at home and abroad.”  Bains added “Our government is proud to invest in BlackBerry QNX’s exciting project and to position Canada as a global leader in automotive innovation.”

BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen said “BlackBerry is trusted by automakers and Tier 1s around the world to protect hardware, software, applications, and end-to-end systems from cyberattacks.”

Chen adds that with the funding from the Canadian government, “we’re now in an even stronger position to deliver on the demand for BlackBerry’s safe and secure QNX software.”

Along with the new technology, the company will also provide new skills development and learning opportunities to help train Canadians.

“Together we will spur innovation, create great jobs, educate the workforce of tomorrow, and solidify Canada as a world leader in automotive technology,” said Chen.

In 2017, Canada’s automotive industry produced 2.2 million vehicles, contributed over $18 billion in GDP, and directly and indirectly employed over 500,000 people.

BlackBerry employs nearly 2,000 people in Canada.  Over the next 10 years, it will create over 800 new middle class jobs and maintain nearly 300 more.

The funding is made through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a federal program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments across all sectors of the economy by encouraging research and development that will accelerate technology transfer and the commercialization of innovative products, processes and services, and will facilitate the growth of innovative firms.




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