Self-parking, automatic breaking, driverless – the vehicles of tomorrow are bound not only to be autonomous, but also connected to one another. This trend has led the Canadian government to make bold investments to establish Canada as a global leader in cybersecurity and automotive software for connected and autonomous vehicles.
Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, has announced an investment of $40 million in BlackBerry QNX, a business unit of BlackBerry Limited, to develop safe and secure software systems for the next generation of connected and autonomous vehicles.
The company will create more than 800 new middle class jobs in Canada over the next ten years, and maintain nearly 300 more. They will also provide new skills development and learning opportunities to help train Canadians for the jobs of tomorrow and keep Canada competitive in today’s global economy.
With this funding, BlackBerry QNX 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. BlackBerry QNX will also develop and use concept cars as labs for technology and software development.
The Government of Canada will continue to invest in new automotive technologies that make our vehicles safer and more secure, and position our country as the place where cars of the future are designed and built.
BlackBerry will invest $310.5 million in the project, as well as commit $5 million to cybersecurity to collaborate with government, post-secondary institutions, and private sector firms.
The Government of Canada’s $40 million investment is made through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a 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.
In 2017, Canada’s automotive industry – one of the country’s largest export industries – produced 2.2 million vehicles, contributed over $18 billion in GDP, and directly and indirectly employed over 500,000 people in well-paying, middle class jobs.
BlackBerry’s pedigree in safety, security, and continued innovation has led to its QNX technology being embedded in more than 120 million vehicles on the road today. It is used by the top seven automotive Tier 1s, and by more than 40 OEMs including Audi, BMW, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, GM, Jaguar Land Rover, KIA, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Toyota, and Volkswagen. The company partners with automotive Tier 1s, like Bosch, Denso, Aptiv, Panasonic and Visteon, and silicon partners, such as Intel, Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Renesas.