Blackberry unveils digital cockpit platform at CES

The QNX platform is being demonstrated this week at CES in a Karma Revero concept car

At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Blackberry is unveiling what it claims is the world’s first digital cockpit platform that lets car makers provide the in-car experience drivers want, with the security, safety and reliability they need.

The QNX platform for digital cockpits lets car makers offer a reliable and secure QNX-based digital instrument cluster and infotainment system that provides access to the latest Android-based applications such as Google Maps and Google Play Music all from a single ECU.

Blackberry’s ISO 26262 safety-certified hypervisor makes sure 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.

The platform is an illustration of the company’s go-to-market strategy, which is to develop and sell vertical offerings that bundle complementary products. For example, the QNX platform for digital cockpits combines Blackberry’s safety-certified QNX hypervisor for safety, QNX platform for instrument clusters, QNX car platform for infotainment and a secure Android implementation. By delivering this, it should help accelerate car makers’ development timelines and reduce the risk and cost of moving projects from research to production.

“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 at Blackberry. “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.”

The platform was made possible thanks to a partnership with Tata Elxsi, which provides customisations and support for Android and ensures Android updates and customisations are available for the lifetime of the vehicle. The development builds on the companies’ multi-year partnership, first announced in 2017, which saw Tata Elxsi sign on with Blackberry as a value-added integrator to help companies design and develop secure, mission-critical products using QNX technologies.

An early release of the QNX platform for digital cockpits, in addition to other innovations, is being demonstrated this week at CES in a 2019 Karma Revero concept car on stand 7523 in LVCC North Hall.

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