BlackBerry Claims Secure Mission-Critical Software Breakthrough

BlackBerry claims it has developed a new software system to give automakers protection from hackers in their vehicles’ mission-critical functions.

It has says QNX Black Channel Communications Technology is a new software solution that makes the nodes of data communication in embedded systems functionally safe. By safely encapsulating the data being exchanged and validating it with safety checks, the system claims to protect data communication from systematic software faults, random hardware faults and transient faults while helping in the automatic prevention of damages from these failures with little effect on performance.

QNX Black Channel Communications Technology is certified to ISO 26262 ASIL D, the automotive industry’s functional safety standard, is based on the safe data communication requirements identified in IEC 61508 and mitigation measures defined in AUTOSAR End-to-End communications protection profiles.

With the functional safety standard development and certification already done, the software giant says the solution enables automakers and other embedded software developers to accelerate their development timelines and reduce the cost in moving projects from research to production. Select automakers and Tier 1 suppliers are currently using pilots of the system in their development of next generation automotive technology. The solution is scheduled for general availability sometime this month.

Grant Courville, vice-president product management and strategy at BlackBerry QNX, said: “We are seeing an increase in functional safety requirements for automotive systems as the electronic architecture of the car undergoes a shift to fewer and more powerful electronic control units (ECUs). Our new QNX Black Channel Communications Technology product not only ensures that the communication exchanges with safety-critical systems are safe but also that the data being exchanged is not altered or impacted in any way during its transmission.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


  1. Avatar Adar Malik 20th April 2020 @ 10:24 am

    I wonder what’s the breakthrough here? Safety measures generally do not help you with security. It’s the other way around.
    Also the AUTOSAR E2E principles is simply the AUTOSAR variant of basic security considerations in protocol design.

    • TU-Editor TU-Editor 20th April 2020 @ 10:55 am

      I think the thrust of what BlackBerry is claiming is that its software’s protection could accelerate C-V2X involvement in mission-critical autonomous functions by being hacker-proof, if such a thing can ever exist.

      • Avatar Adar Malik 20th April 2020 @ 5:05 pm

        The code is not even for V2X but for inter-ecu communication.
        For sure there is value if you have something pre-certified (for safety, not security and only of the assumptions done for that SEooC are realistic) but I wonder what is the overall use case and how much they would ask for.

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