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BlackBerry and AUTOSAR: Defining Automotive Open System Architecture Standards

BlackBerry is pleased to announce it has joined the AUTomotive Open System Architecture consortium (AUTOSAR) as a premium partner. In this role, BlackBerry will contribute to the development of the AUTOSAR standard, sharing the company's expertise in safety-certified, secure foundational automotive software solutions for connected and autonomous vehicles.

The AUTOSAR consortium is a worldwide development partnership of vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, service providers, and companies from across the automotive electronics, semiconductor, and software industry, and is the driving organization behind the world’s largest standardized automotive architecture.

Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Evolution

As the industry evolves from connected, to automated, and ultimately to autonomous driving, the electronic architecture of the car is moving from a large number (over 100) of fixed-function electronic control units (ECUs) to a few high-performance domain controllers enabled by increasingly complex software.

BlackBerry has the solutions, expertise, and pedigree to support this transition and be a leader in this complex new software-defined vehicle architecture. BlackBerry® QNX® has been the leading choice for embedded systems where safety and security are paramount, supported by its safety certified and secure QNX® operating system (OS) and QNX® Hypervisor.

With functional safety requirements found in more and more automotive systems, BlackBerry QNX has a strong track record of building safe and secure software for mission-critical, safety-critical, and life-critical embedded systems. This pedigree also applies to the ISO 26262 functional safety standards for automotive. The company has invested significantly in this area to extend its reach within the vehicle and offer many safety certified products including its QNX® Neutrino® OS, QNX Hypervisor, as well as graphics monitors, communications software, development tools, and other middleware.

As part of these efforts, BlackBerry will work closely with the AUTOSAR group to shape and define a recommended architecture for autonomous vehicles in addition to making use of the standard within the company’s own development work.

Leading Through Innovation

By joining, we’re among good company. The AUTOSAR consortium has global representation with its core membership including the likes of BMW, Bosch, Continental, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, PSA, Toyota, and Volkswagen, many of whom are longstanding BlackBerry QNX customers.

There’s no question that the automotive industry is undergoing a digital transformation. While the bulk of a car’s value was traditionally made up of its mechanical, hardware, and other physical components, software and connected services are quickly becoming the most important drivers of value, and a key differentiator, for automobile manufacturers.

The next-generation vehicle architecture has evolved from being hardware-driven to software-defined. Software is now quite literally in the driver’s seat, steering the car industry and redirecting the way it’s been organized since those halcyon days of Henry Ford – who famously remarked that customers could have any color car they wanted, so long as it was black.

For the AUTOSAR consortium, its guiding aim is to improve the complex management of integrated electrical and electronic (E/E) architectures through increased reuse and exchangeability of software modules between OEMs and suppliers. By standardizing the software architecture of ECUs, the organization seeks to pave the way for innovative electronic systems that further improve performance, safety, and security.

Safety, Security, and Trust

In the race for self-driving cars, building consumer trust when it comes to safety is just as important as building the technology. For the general public to accept and ultimately adopt autonomous vehicles en masse, there needs to be trust in the technologies, trust in their advantages, and of course, trust that the companies building them (and profiting from them) will act responsibly.

It is a moral imperative for those of us within the industry that are advancing this fast-approaching future to make sure it is both safe and secure. The AUTOSAR consortium is a fantastic organization to help the industry collectively work towards this goal.

For more insights on how BlackBerry is leading the industry in smarter, safer, and more secure connected and autonomous vehicle technologies, refer to the recently published ebook Road to Mobility: The 2020 Guide to Trends and Technology for Smart Cities and Transportationwhich examines key points to consider as we enter the world of autonomous transportation. The publication includes numerous articles from thought leaders with the Auto-ISAC, ITSA, Carnegie Mellon, Cyber Future Foundation, and more.

Grant Courville

About Grant Courville

Grant Courville is Vice President of Products and Strategy at BlackBerry QNX.