BlackBerry, Baidu announce autonomous vehicle partnership

This file photo shows people visiting the Baidu booth during the 4th World Internet Conference in Wuzhen in China’s eastern Zhejiang province. / AFP / 

MONTREAL, Canada (AFP) — Canadian telecommunications software company BlackBerry and China’s web giant Baidu on Wednesday announced a partnership for autonomous and connected vehicles.

“The two companies will collaborate to accelerate the deployment of connected and autonomous vehicle technology for automotive OEMs and suppliers worldwide,” they said in a statement.

BlackBerry’s operating system will be “the foundation for Baidu’s Apollo autonomous driving open platform,” the statement said.

In September, Baidu announced a $1.5 billion investment in autonomous driving projects over the next three years, as it seeks to diversify its portfolio and compete with rivals such as Google.

BlackBerry, after abandoning the manufacture of its once-popular smartphones, has refocused its core business on cyber security software and services.

© Agence France-Presse