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BlackBerry QNX Dev Platform 7.0 For Arrives For Connected Cars

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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CES 2017: QNX Software Development Platform touted as ultimate embedded OS for the automotive industry

BlackBerry has used the CES 2017 show to announced QNX Software Development Platform 7.0, which it claims is its “most advanced and secure embedded operating system (OS) for the automotive industry.”

The development comes as connected cars become an increasingly important revenue stream for tech firms and last month BlackBerry’s financials suggested that the firm’s ongoing transformation from hardware to software is starting to pay off.

jaguar-land-rover-virtual-windshield-ghost-carConnected Car

QNX SDP 7.0 is a 64-bit OS and according to BlackBerry, not only does it exploit the reliability of its QNX technology, but it has also been tweaked to improve both security and performance in cars.

These improvements are delivered via a number of tweaks including to the microkernel architecture, file encryption, adaptive time partitioning, a high availability framework, anomaly detection, and multi-level policy-based access control.

The former smartphone giant will demonstrate QNX SDP 7.0 fitted into a 2016 Jaguar XJ and 2017 Lincoln MKZ concept cars at the show.

“With the push toward connected and autonomous vehicles, the electronic architecture of cars is evolving – from a multitude of smaller processors each executing a dedicated function, to a set of high performance domain controllers, powered by 64-bit processors and graphical processing units,” said John Wall, head of BlackBerry QNX.

“To develop these new systems, our automotive customers will need a safe and secure 64-bit OS that can run highly complex software, including neural networks and artificial intelligence algorithms,” said Wall. “ QNX SDP 7.0 is suited not only for cars, but also for almost any safety- or mission-critical application that requires 64-bit performance and advanced security. This includes surgical robots, industrial controllers and high-speed trains.”

To tackle the growing cyber threat to connected cars, QNX SDP 7.0 also comes with QNX Neutrino Realtime OS and QNX Momentics Tool Suite, to safeguard the OS against system malfunctions, malware, and cyber attacks by implementing a multi-level, policy-driven security model. The OS is also certified to ISO 26262 ASIL D (the highest level achievable) for cars and to IEC 61508 SIL 3 for industrial automation systems.

The beta release of QNX SDP 7.0 is available now for evaluation and product development. General availability is scheduled for sometime in the first quarter.

BlackBerry QNX

Besides the QNX SDP 7.0 demonstration in a 2016 Jaguar XJ and 2017 Lincoln, the Canadian company will also reveal BlackBerry Radar, its secure hardware and software asset tracking solution for the transportation and logistics sectors.

It should be remembered that QNX has a long history in the car market after BlackBerry acquired the in-vehicle “infotainment and telematics systems” provider QNX Software Systems for $200m (£120m). It then based BlackBerry 10 OS on the platform, and the QNX technology is also reportedly used to control nuclear-power plants and unmanned aerial drones.

The well regarded OS was also adopted by Ford in 2014 after it stopped using Windows Embedded Automotive OS.

BlackBerry of course stopped making smartphones last September in order to focus its resources on software and services.

Last month it unveiled a mobile security platform called BlackBerry Secure, targeted at the ‘Enterprise of Things’ and with the aim of helping businesses manage their mobile and connected devices and provide secure communications.

Quiz: How much do you know about the last few years of BlackBerry’s story?