BlackBerry extends partnership with Magna to work on advanced driver assistance systems

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“It’s no longer just about the safety of the vehicles, but about the safety of the software on which they run.”

BlackBerry is expanding its multi-year partnership with Aurora-based Magna International Inc. to collaborate on integrated Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) solutions.

This new deal builds on an existing four-year collaboration between Magna and BlackBerry where both companies were working on safety-related projects. BlackBerry did not disclose the duration of its extended partnership with Magna.

BlackBerry provides Magna with its QNX software, including the QNX Software Development Platform, QNX OS for Safety, QNX Platform for ADAS, as well as professional engineering services for system-level integration, performance optimization, and solution validation.

“Functional safety is now an extremely important part of cars, both in protecting lives and property and creating a competitive advantage for [original equipment manufacturers] (OEMs) and Tier 1 suppliers,” said Grant Courville, vice president of products and strategy at BlackBerry QNX. “It’s no longer just about the safety of the vehicles, but about the safety of the software on which they run.”

This expanded partnership between BlackBerry and Magna reflects the two companies expertise in their respective fields: software and electronic integration supply to OEMs.

Based in Waterloo, BlackBerry uses AI and machine learning to provide solutions in the areas of cybersecurity, safety and data privacy solutions, endpoint security, endpoint management, encryption, and embedded systems. QNX was originally founded in 1980 and is currently headquartered in Ottawa. BlackBerry was able to take ownership of QNX’s software systems from Harman International in a $200 million acquisition deal that closed in 2010.

Under BlackBerry, the QNX software is now integrated into more than 195 million vehicles across a range of industries including aerospace and defense, automotive, commercial vehicles, heavy machinery, industrial controls, medical, rail, and robotics.

Sharath Reddy, senior vice president at Magna Electronics, said that collaborating with companies like BlackBerry helps Magna with speed to market. “Magna’s ADAS expertise and unique ability to integrate system solutions into various vehicle applications gives us a competitive advantage,” she said.

Founded in 1957, Magna describes itself as a mobility technology company and one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers. The company claims 347 manufacturing operations as well as 94 product development, engineering, and sales centres in 27 countries. Magna’s offerings include body exteriors and structures, power and vision technologies, seating systems and complete vehicle solutions.

RELATED: Untether AI secures $1 million for partnership with General Motors

Partnerships between automotive firms and tech companies are becoming more common in the space, with applications spanning ADAS to embedding entertainment systems in cars.

Apart from BlackBerry’s partnership with Magna, one example of this is Untether AI’s two-year collaboration with General Motors wherein both firms will work together to demonstrate an autonomous vehicle (AV) perception system based on Untether’s computation technology.

Last year, Ford and Google formed a partnership to allow the former to use Google’s cloud platform and Android operating system in Ford and Lincoln car models beginning in 2023.

Featured image from BlackBerry QNX.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a staff writer for BetaKit.

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