#GlobalNews: “Blackberry’s self-driving car hits the road for 1st time in Canada – National”


OTTAWA — A BlackBerry QNX-equipped self-driving car hit the road in suburban Ottawa Thursday in what was billed as the first on-street test of an autonomous vehicle in Canada.

The grey Lincoln MKZ pulled away with Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, councillor Marianne Wilkinson and John Wall, general manager of BlackBerry QNX, aboard.

READ MORE: BlackBerry’s comeback may have something to do with how it pays its CEO

BlackBerry QNX opened an autonomous vehicle innovation centre in Ottawa late last year.

“Today is the first public fruits of what we’ve been doing,” Wall said.

The street was closed for the public demonstration, which attracted scores of people, but the car is expected to be operating on city streets in the test area amidst real traffic and pedestrians.

To aid in the demonstration, the test loop around the suburban technology park has been upgraded with traffic lights equipped with transmitters that communicate with the car as well as repainted street lines and new LED street lights.

BlackBerry QNX is developing the software foundation for autonomous vehicles, while Wall said others are working on what he called “the brain.”

WATCH: BlackBerry ‘likely’ to become a takeover target, report says

“In a lot of cases, the OEMs want to own that, so the Fords of this world, the Mercedes of this world, that’s their secret sauce, they’re going to build the brain,” he said.

“We’re going to provide all the infrastructure, the security, the safety, the redundancy, the communication, how the signals come in.”

Wall said fully autonomous cars without a steering wheel are still a long way off, but he added that cars are already incorporating some of the technology such as sensors that will keep your car in its lane, hit the brake if they think you are going to hit something or detect another car in your blind spot.

Automotive and technology companies around the world have been racing to develop self-driving systems.

WATCH: BlackBerry opens autonomous vehicle hub

A demonstration test zone has been announced for Stratford, Ont., as part of the Ontario government’s plan to create an Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network, with the help of $80 million over five years.

Canadian auto parts firm Magna International Inc. (TSX:MG) announced earlier this week that it would join BMW and Intel Corp. to develop a self-driving system for the global vehicle marketplace by 2021.

READ MORE: 10 things we bet you didn’t know about BlackBerry

Several companies including Uber and Waymo, which was spun out of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. last year, have been testing self-driving cars on city streets in the United States.

Uber briefly suspended its self-driving fleet last month after a car collided with a self-driving Uber SUV.

BlackBerry QNX has been a supplier of software platforms to the auto industry for 20 years including telematics, infotainment, acoustics, and instrument cluster systems.

Note: “Previously Published on: 13 October 2017 | 7:24 pm, as ‘Blackberry’s self-driving car hits the road for 1st time in Canada – National’ on GLOBALNEWS CANADA. Here is a source link for the Article’s Image(s) and Content”.

Global News Canada

Copyright © 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. Corus News. All rights reserved. Distributed by PressOcean Global Media (pressocean.com). Contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material... Articles and commentaries that identify PressOcean.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by PressOcean. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.


No comments!

There are no comments yet, but you can be first to comment this article.

Leave reply

Leave a Reply, an Opinion or a Comment: