BlackBerry QNX tech to underpin first cars from futuristic automaker Byton


Made-in-Ottawa tech will underpin the cockpit experience for a slate of new-age cars thanks to a new deal struck between BlackBerry and electric carmaker Byton.

As part of the agreement, BlackBerry will license its QNX operating system and hypervisor software – developed in large part at the firm’s Kanata outpost – to California-based Byton for use in its first production vehicles.

Byton develops “intelligent” electric vehicles focused on enhancing the in-car experience. The firm announced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show that it would build premium vehicles with autonomous drive capabilities for sale in the Chinese, U.S. and European markets. Sales are expected to begin in China next year.

“Byton is pushing the envelope in autonomous vehicle development and the opportunity to contribute our technology to their first series of production vehicles is a real privilege,” said John Wall, head of BlackBerry QNX, in a statement.

Byton said in a release that the decision to use BlackBerry as the foundation for its first line of vehicles was the operating system’s ability to partition safety-critical systems from the non-critical systems in a car.

The Byton news comes off a recent announcement from BlackBerry that its systems are now embedded in 120 million on-road vehicles. Three years ago, the firm had just topped 50 million vehicle installations.