OTTAWA -- Software from Canadian security specialist BlackBerry Ltd., will underpin Hyundai Motor Group’s ambitious plans for autonomous cars and other high-tech mobility.
In a deal announced Tuesday night, Waterloo, Ont.-based BlackBerry will supply its QNX operating system to Hyundai Autron, the South Korean automaker’s research and development subsidiary. No terms were disclosed.
Hyundai said in October it plans to invest US$35 billion into “future mobility technology,” including autonomous and electric cars and ride-sharing systems, by 2025.
In a statement, BlackBerry said its Ottawa-developed QNX OS for Safety, the latest version of software that already powers high-speed trains and robotic surgery, will give Hyundai “the reliable foundation” necessary for safe, cost-effective auto systems.
“Functional safety and security are top priorities in connected and autonomous vehicles,” said BlackBerry CEO John Chen.
Hyundai Autron chief executive Dae-Heung Moon promised that advanced-driving and autonomous platforms built around the Canadian software “will set a new standard for the automotive industry.”
The announcement is a boost for BlackBerry, which has seen share prices languish over underwhelming financial results and the recent departure of president and chief operating officer Bryan Palma after less than a year with the company.
In another technology deal announced Monday, Montreal-based artificial intelligence developer Element AI said it will work with Japanese parts maker Aisin Seiki to interpret and explain machine-learning data at Aisin's plants.
“Manufacturers are rapidly adopting AI to facilitate how they identify and verify anomalies that can compromise quality during production processes,” Element AI said. “Recommendations made by a machine learning (ML) algorithm without an easy-to-follow explainability path often causes distrust with users and non-compliance with customers.”
Terms of the deal were not announced. Founded in 2016, Element employs 450 at its Montreal offices.