QNX and VisLab team up - Could we see a QNX car driving itself soon?

By James Richardson on 8 Apr 2014 06:48 am EDT

I'm far from an expert when it comes to how clever a car can be but today sees some sweet news for BlackBerry as QNX is officially adopted by VisLab at the university of Parma. 

Non BlackBerry fanatics will more than likely have no clue that the software powering many high end cars is actually owned by BlackBerry and in terms of the Canadian company getting back on track financially, QNX will certainly be a great asset to them. 

Technology is always improving and with QNX and VisLab working together we could well see QNX doing a lot more work in the car than we've seen before - even driving itself!

VisLab has been in business since 1990 so are not newcomers to working in the automotive industry. They are also regarded as one of the leading centers for artificial vision applied to vehicles.

Good news all round I say. 

Press Release

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 8, 2014) - QNX Software Systems Limited, a global leader in software platforms for in-car electronics, today announced that the QNX(R) Neutrino(R) operating system is powering mission-critical systems in a new autonomous vehicle project developed by the Artificial Vision and Intelligent Systems Laboratory (VisLab) of the University of Parma. These include the systems that perform path and trajectory planning, that provide realtime fusion of laser data and visual data, and that implement the human machine interface (HMI). The new vehicle, named DEEVA, will be unveiled at an event later this summer to showcase advancements in autonomous vehicles.

QNX OS technology has been powering autonomous systems - from robot vacuums to submarines to DARPA Grand Challenge vehicles - since the 1990s. VisLab chose the QNX OS because of its reliability, realtime performance, and long history in safety-critical systems.

For more than 20 years, VisLab has been a leader in applied research in artificial vision and intelligent systems, paying particular attention to road environmental perception by means of onboard sensors. VisLab has carried out a variety of successful experiments and projects over the last few years, including an autonomous vehicle launched last year that negotiated busy, downtown, rush-hour traffic and complex situations like traffic circles, traffic lights, and pedestrian crossings. DEEVA features a unique and extremely rich set of sensors that deliver a complete 3D view of the circumference of the vehicle. To achieve this level of environmental perception, DEEVA processes an immense quantity of data and interprets it in real time with high reliability.

"Autonomous cars are the future of the automotive industry and our current project is pushing the envelope to demonstrate the capabilities of this growing trend," said Professor Alberto Broggi, president and CEO, VisLab. "In the design of our vehicle, we selected building blocks offering high reliability with proven safety records; the operating system powering the vital elements of the vehicle is one of those and is why we chose the QNX OS."

QNX Software Systems has a 30-year history in safety-critical systems, from nuclear power plants to the Space Shuttle, as well as proven competency in certifications to safety-related standards like IEC 61508 and IEC 62304. The QNX OS is deployed worldwide in the automotive, industrial, medical, networking, and consumer appliance markets, and is based on a modular microkernel architecture designed to enable high levels of reliability, availability, scalability, and performance.

"We have a long history in autonomous systems and we are honored to contribute our expertise to VisLab's autonomous vehicle project," said Derek Kuhn, vice president of sales and marketing, QNX Software Systems. "We pride ourselves on offering an operating system platform that meets the stringent requirements of mission-critical systems, like autonomous vehicles.

Topics: QNX Apps

Reader comments

QNX and VisLab team up - Could we see a QNX car driving itself soon?


I need a gps controlled driverless car for my 70 birthday. Please send one without wrapping paper.

Posted via CB10

lol where have you been? QNX was bought by BlackBerry in 2010! QNX architecture is what is behind the Playbook and BB10 OS

Not to mention that even it wasn't know, it states it in the second paragraph. People just don't read.

Posted via CB10 - Z10 'Powered by BlackBerry'

So maybe in the next year or two?

Posted with a Verizon Z30 running and CB10. [URL="bbmc:C0004F9BB"] My channel with zero subscribers [/URL]

Stupid question but if QNX is doing well then shouldn't it's profits get added to BlackBerry as a whole?

Posted via CB10

I think they do but embedded systems like QNX earn chump change in comparison. Millions instead of billions

Posted via CB10

Neteng is correct. The sales were in the 70 millions if I remember correctly (don't quote me, been a while since I read on this) but proportionally QNX is not financially material. Still, it's software and somewhat old so almost pure margin.


Yeah I think BlackBerry only paid $200 Million for them, and at the time everyone said they overpaid. But who really knows how much they have grown in the last few years.

I am not at all for cars driving themselves, but if I had to choose, I would go with the QNX version, hands down.

Posted via CB10

Agree with that. And I'd save lots of money if there was pasture everywhere and around the office.


I'd rather see an automated car powered by QNX than by Android or iOS. The iCar would likely take you off course...and the Android car would most definitely be full of glitches and be susceptible to hackers taking over your car and crashing it.

Posted via CB10 from my amazing Q10

If this were Google or Apple announcing this it would be major news but... well, it's only BlackBerry or a part of BlackBerry so doesn't mean much. it's always interesting what stores are given legs by the news editors and which aren't. Good news though. QNX could be worth a lot in the future as things unfold.

Posted via CB10

Actually I believe QNX software is used in the NASA space program so maybe there is a relationship to the Mars Rover ??? :)

I keep thinking about the old joke where a dummy in a motorhome puts it in cruise control, and goes into the back for a nap. Well, now you can!

Well, Carlos Ghosn said autonomous vehicles will be seeing mass production in 2020

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