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BlackBerry QNX to power Jaguar Land Rover electronic controls

BlackBerry’s embedded operating system and cryptography platform will be used to power the carmaker’s next-generation connected and autonomous cars

BlackBerry and Jaguar Land Rover have announced they will be collaborating on an electronic control unit (ECU) for new cars, based on the QNX embedded operating system.

As part of the agreement, BlackBerry will license its QNX and Certicom technology to Jaguar Land Rover. It will also assign a team of engineers to support the development of ECU modules.

BlackBerry’s Certicom Elliptical Curve Cryptography provides security for internet-connected devices, while QNX is its real-time embedded operating system.

Jaguar’s first ECU project will be a next-generation infotainment system.

“Working with BlackBerry will enable us to develop the safe and secure next-generation connected car our customers want,” said Dave Nesbitt, vehicle engineering director at Jaguar Land Rover. “Together with BlackBerry engineers, we will be able to access the most dynamic and up-to-date software to ensure the highest security required for our connected vehicles.”

One of the challenges of developing connected and autonomous vehicles is collecting and processing locally collected data. The latest thinking is a form of distributed computing, where sensor data is processed locally then pushed up to the cloud, which means vehicles will need some kind of computing platform, running a real-time embedded operating system.

“Together with BlackBerry engineers, we will be able to access the most dynamic and up-to-date software to ensure the highest security required for our connected vehicles”
Dave Nesbitt, Jaguar Land Rover

In its 2016/17 annual statement, Jaguar Land Rover identified five broad areas of focus, one of which is to make software engineering essential to the company’s future. This software engineering capability will be used to help Jaguar develop smart and secure technology and new ways for people to use their cars.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year, Jaguar announced a partnership with Qualcomm for the integration of 4G Long-Term Evolution Advanced (LTE-A), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The carmaker said it would be using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platform to enable its autonomous cars to become more aware of their surroundings.

“As the automotive industry moves towards 5G, premium automotive solutions like the Snapdragon 820Am automotive platform will help us bring ultra-fast connectivity and high-performance computing to our Jaguar Land Rover line-up,” said Nick Rogers, executive director of product engineering at Jaguar Land Rover.

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