BlackBerry Limited unveiled this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas the world’s first digital cockpit solution. The platform is intended to empower automakers to provide drivers with digital instrument, infotainment and safety solutions in their cars. Capable of running the latest Android-powered applications, the BlackBerry QNX Platform serves as a hypervisor, ensuring “the multiple operating system environments powering the cluster, infotainment, and other driver information systems do not interfere with one another. This isolation is important because if an app crashes, is compromised, or needs to be updated, it will not impact critical-driving functions,” said the company in a press release.
Based in Waterloo, Ontario, BlackBerry is best known for its range of cellular communications devices, which reached its heyday in the mid-2000’s. In 2019, the company is more focused on software and cybersecurity in a b2b context, focusing on “enabling the Enterprise of Things by providing the technology that allows endpoints to trust one another, communicate securely, and maintain privacy.” BlackBerry Senior VP, Alex Thurber said at CES this week that “of course, businesses and enterprises and governments are still very aware that BlackBerry is out there because our software management and security has continued to be deployed everywhere,” according to Bloomberg.
The new QNX platform is a representation of BlackBerry’s new strategy to “develop and sell vertical solutions that bundle complementary products.” The platform includes the Hypervisor for safety, but also the QNX Platform for Instrument Clusters, the QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment, and a secure Android implementation.
“As the ECUs in a car consolidate, automakers are seeking safe, secure, and reliable solutions that are flexible enough to deliver a unique driving experience,” said John Wall, Senior Vice President and Co-Head of BlackBerry Technology Solutions. “After two years of constant improvement and testing, we have built the world’s first safety-certified digital cockpit that enables secure Android apps in the car. We believe being able to provide this level of security will be a key differentiator for automakers as consumers begin to weigh security and data privacy when purchasing a vehicle.”