BlackBerry, Government Announce $350M for AV Development

BlackBerry and the Canadian government are to spend a combined $350M on autonomous vehicle development.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and John Chen, the smartphone maker’s CEO, announced the funding on Friday at BlackBerry’s Ottawa campus, according to CBC. Blackberry is providing $310M, the government is providing the other $40M from its Strategic Innovation Fund.

BlackBerry claimed the money would create 800 jobs and keep 300 existing ones going. 1,000 work placements for students would also be created, it added. CBC quoted Trudeau as saying BlackBerry would use the money to develop AVs’ “central nervous systems”.

Canadian Autonomous Vehicle Centre of Excellence (CAVCOE) co-founder Barrie Kirk dubbed the funding “a really big deal” that would enhance the AV “cluster” in the western suburbs of Ottawa, a city that calls itself “Canada’s AV capital”.

BlackBerry QNX AV researcher Richard Yu said the money would be partly spent on researching how AVs can navigate Canada’s “harsh winters”.

 


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