Baidu has expanded its partnership with Canadian security software supplier and former smartphone pioneer BlackBerry. The agreement will enable Baidu’s mapping tools to be installed in more internet-connected and autonomous vehicles in China, as the Chinese search giant explores ways to monetize its Apollo self-driving platform in an effort to diversify its revenue sources.
Under the agreement announced on Monday, Baidu will see its high-definition maps integrated into BlackBerry’s QNX Neutrino Real-Time Operating System, which will be included in upcoming Aion cars made by the new energy vehicle arm of Guangzhou Automobile Group, one of China’s top three carmakers.
In China, Baidu has taken the lead in developing mapping technology that is key for intelligent vehicles.
The expanded partnership will allow Baidu to “provide car manufacturers with a clear and fast path to the production of autonomous vehicles, with safety and security as the top priority,” said Wang Yunpeng, senior director of the technology department of Baidu’s Intelligent Driving Group.
The two companies’ partnership dates back to January 2018, when Baidu selected BlackBerry’s QNX operating system as the foundation for its open-source Apollo platform, which has attracted a host of automakers, tech firms and universities since its establishment in 2017.
Monday’s announcement comes two weeks after Baidu made a direct foray into car manufacturing by establishing a new firm to produce intelligent electric vehicles in partnership with domestic automaker Geely.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (firstname.lastname@example.org)