BlackBerry receives $40 million from government for autonomous vehicle development

blackberry qnx

BlackBerry QNX today received a $40 million investment, announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to help develop safe and secure software systems for connected and autonomous vehicles.

“The race for a top spot in the new economy has already begun.”

The Globe and Mail first reported on Thursday, that the government was set to make the announcement, noting the investment will go toward a $300 million-plus investment by BlackBerry.

The federal government’s $40 million contribution is being made through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a program designed to draw in and support business investments, by encouraging research and development that will help with the commercialization of new technologies in Canada.

“The race for a top spot in the new economy has already begun, and if we want to see Canadians take the lead, we need to have their backs,” said Trudeau. “This investment will create 800 good, middle-class jobs for Canadians, make our cars safer and more secure, and further position Canada as a global hub for innovation.”

Along with 800 new jobs created over the next ten years, BlackBerry QNX will maintain nearly 300 more. BlackBerry is set to invest $310.5 million in the project, as well as commit $5 million to cybersecurity to collaborate with government, universities, and private sector firms.

Related: BlackBerry’s QNX announces self-driving car platform at CES

“BlackBerry is trusted by automakers and Tier 1s around the world to protect hardware, software, applications, and end-to-end systems from cyberattacks,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “Thanks to the Canadian government’s commitment we’re now in an even stronger position to deliver on the demand for BlackBerry’s safe and secure QNX software. Together we will spur innovation, create great jobs, educate the workforce of tomorrow, and solidify Canada as a world leader in automotive technology.”

BlackBerry first announced plans to create an autonomous vehicle research centre in Ottawa in late 2016. Last December, BlackBerry QNX launched a certificate security system to help the development of smart cities and autonomous vehicles, which provides the mechanism for vehicles and infrastructure (such as traffic lights), to exchange information in a trustworthy and private manner using digital certificates.

With this funding, BlackBerry QNX aims to develop new automated control systems, upgrade and secure communications in vehicles, and improve vehicle safety by expanding its advanced driver-assistance system. BlackBerry QNX will also develop and use concept cars as labs for technology and software development.

Image courtesy QNX.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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