Compared with the automobiles roving the roadways in 2021, the vehicles rolling off the assembly lines in the early 20th century were very different machines. These modern vehicles are a far cry from their largely mechanical counterparts and feature a vast suite of technologies to enable autonomous and driverless capabilities. In January, BlackBerry announced an expanded partnership with Baidu to assist with the software side of autonomous vehicle production using the company’s QNX operating platform, which is set to be featured in future GAC New Energy Aion models. Aion is a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer.
On Tuesday, BlackBerry announced that its QNX Black Channel Communications Technology system will be featured in Motional’s next-generation vehicle systems.
BlackBerry’s QNX meets Motional’s platform
“It’s a real privilege to contribute our technology to Motional, a leader in developing safe, self-driving vehicles,” said John Wall, SVP and co-head at BlackBerry Technology Solutions. “QNX Black Channel Communications Technology supports Motional’s mission to deliver ‘safety-first’ systems in an era in which driverless transportation is evolving at a rapid pace.”
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Similar to the Baidu partnership, the latest BlackBerry announcement focuses on using QNX capabilities to enhance the driverless vehicle safety systems and performance. Within the Motional platform, the QNX Black Channel Communications Technology encapsulates exchanged system data and validates this information, the press release explained, and by doing so, protects this communication from software and hardware faults and more. Additionally, this system enables the automatic prevention of such failures with “minimal impact on system performance,” the release said.
The QNX system detects a wide range of potential flaws including data insertion, corruption, repetition, as well as invalid message sequencing, and more, according to a BlackBerry representative.
“The safety of our vehicles is always Motional’s first priority,” noted Junsung Kim, vice president of Infrastructure Software at Motional. “We look forward to leveraging BlackBerry QNX Black Channel Communications Technology in our next-generation vehicle development and continuing Motional’s exceptional safety legacy.”
Autonomous vehicles setbacks and accidents
Autonomous vehicle manufacturers have encountered numerous setbacks in recent years. For example, a person died after an autonomous vehicle struck a pedestrian in Arizona in 2018. A Waymo Public Road Safety Performance Data report revealed a number of collisions and accidents. The report details “more than 6.1 million miles of automated driving” on roadways in Arizona. During this time, Waymo made note of “47 contact events” and this includes 18 actual events and 29 simulations, and “none of which would be expected to result in severe or life-threatening injuries.”