BlackBerry QNX headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario. Photo courtesy of Morguard and BlackBerry.

BlackBerry QNX headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario. Photo courtesy of Morguard and BlackBerry.


Canadian-based BlackBerry Limited has launched a new autonomous vehicle research center at the technology company’s QNX facility in Ottawa, Ontario.

The center will focus on developing software for connected and self-driving vehicles. Software development will be carried out independently and in collaboration with partners in both the private and public sectors, the company said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the Dec. 19 ceremonial unveiling of the BlackBerry QNX Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre.

The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario recently approved BlackBerry QNX to test autonomous vehicles on Ontario roads as part of a pilot program, according to BlackBerry. The new center’s initial projects will include supporting this pilot as well as BlackBerry QNX’s work with the University of Waterloo, PolySync, and Renesas Electronics to build an autonomous concept vehicle.

BlackBerry QNX specializes in supplying mission-critical embedded software to the automotive industry. Its software can be found in more than 60 million vehicles today, according to the company. 

Millions of telematics-equipped cars on the road use BlackBerry’s Certicom security technology for communication authentication and authorization. BlackBerry QNX is now extending its platform expertise into advanced driver assistance systems, connected vehicle and autonomous vehicle systems, and secure over-the-air software update services, BlackBerry said.

“Autonomous vehicles require software that is extremely sophisticated and highly secure,” said John Chen, executive chairman and CEO of BlackBerry Limited. “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.”