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BlackBerry Developed Software That's Capable of Running Automobile Systems

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【Summary】BlackBerry, a company known for its smartphones, announced that it has developed software capable of running complex computer systems found on cars.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jun 16, 2017 9:00 AM PT
BlackBerry Developed Software That's Capable of Running Automobile Systems

Autonomous cars have drawn the attention of various technology companies, especially those that have a well-known history with automobiles. Late last year, we reported that BlackBerry, the Canadian company known for its smartphones, was starting its driverless automotive program in Canada. While BlackBerry may not be world-renowned for its strides in the automotive industry, the company does have its software in vehicles. 

As we reported, BlackBerry has its cloud-based mobile management software in Audis, BMWs, Land Rovers, and other automakers' cars. Since then, BlackBerry has made some moves to make a name for itself in the autonomous segment. Earlier this year in March, Ford hired a number of engineers from the company to focus on mobility and connectivity for the automaker.  

BlackBerry Creates More Automotive-Centered Software

Now, BlackBerry is making another major ripple in the driverless scene, as the company recently announced that it has developed software that can be used to run the intricate computer systems on automobiles, reports Automotive News

As the outlet claims, senior BlackBerry executive John Wall wouldn't state what automakers would use the new technology, but said that "multiple" automotive companies have already started to incorporate it into their onboard computer systems. 

The new system, which is called QNX Hypervisor 2.0, is the most advanced and secure operating system from the company and "enables developers to partition and isolate safety-critical environments from non-safety critical environments, ensuring that no critical systems are put at risk," states BlackBerry. 

The Emphasis Is On Stopping Hackers

As Automotive News claims, the system makes cars more secure from hackers by isolating multiple systems to run on a single piece of silicon, allowing the system to isolate functions. According to the outlet, BlackBerry's QNX Hypervisor 2.0 can separate functions that are critical to safety from ones that are exposed to wireless networks. 

"Think of a house, and a burglar getting into a room," said Wall in a teleconference with reports, claims Automotive News. "So even if the burglar does get into that room, the door is locked, he can't get out of that room. And even if he can get into the hallway, the other rooms are locked." 

Qualcomm Technologies, as BlackBerry also announced, has also adopted the QNX Hypervisor 2.0 as part of digital cockpit solutions. Qualcomm Technologies has combined BlackBerry's new system to its Snapdrag 820Am platform, allowing automakers to reduce the number of complex hardware on a vehicle and cut costs, reports Automotive News

"There is no safety without security," said Wall. "If hackers can access a car through a non-critical ECU system, they can tamper or take over safety-critical areas, such as the steering system, brakes or engine." 

Hacking is one of major concerns surrounding autonomous cars. Some states, including Michigan, have taken it upon themselves to tighten penalties against hackers in an attempt to discourage hackers from taking driverless cars over. With BlackBerry focusing on preventing hackers from getting access to a car's vital components, it could create a niche for itself. 

via: Automotive News

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