BlackBerry and Magna have signed a multi-year agreement to create integrated Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) with auto parts manufacturer giant Magna International.
Magna, which bills itself as a mobility technology company, said that BlackBerry will help develop some of its next-generation ADAS platforms, which the company will then integrate into vehicles leveraging their vehicle and sensor innovation.
“We’re essentially telling the world that we have been working together and will be working more closely together on systems that are going to power electric vehicles and internal combustion engine vehicles,” said Grant Courville, vice-president of product and strategy at BlackBerry.
ADAS is a sensor-based technology that provides information and warnings to a variety of factors on the road — including if a driver drifts from a lane or approaches another vehicle. BlackBerry’s QNX operating system will power the technology.
BlackBerry has been working on safety-related projects with Magna for the past four years and Courville says the partnership reflects the two companies’ expertise in their related fields: software and electronic integration supply to OEMs.
“Collaborating with companies like with BlackBerry helps us deliver advanced solutions to automakers as they stay ahead of the curve,” said Sharath Reddy, senior vice-president of Magna Electronics.
Partnerships between car makers and technology companies are also becoming more common in this space, for applications spanning ADAS and AI use in manufacturing, to in-vehicle integration of entertainment systems, other apps and for overall connectivity.
Courville says the BlackBerry-Magna partnership reflects the talent development underway in the Canadian industry through initiatives like the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network.
John Wall, senior vice-president at BlackBerry and head of QNX, also highlighted the fact that this partnership involves two Canadian companies.
“It’s a great pleasure to work with another Canadian company – and global market leader in the automotive market. Our collaboration brings together both company’s software and functional safety strengths as part of a platform that is already being delivered to multiple global OEMs,”
“With software now being a driving force in the automotive industry, delivering compelling solutions that are seamlessly integrated into a vehicle allows OEMs to differentiate themselves.
We are excited to be working with Magna, a fast-moving company on the cutting edge of ADAS, as the technologies undergo rapid adoption and expansion driven by a number of regulatory mandates that are on the horizon.”
A specific timeframe for the deployment of BlackBerry and Magna’s ADAS platform hasn’t been announced.
In the end, Courville hopes this partnership will create technology that will exceed OEM requirements and make driving safer.
“At the end of the day, you want the vehicles to be smarter and safer, and that’s what we focus on.”