Blackberry and Tata Elxsi reveal new safe and secure digital cockpit solution at CES 2019

by Mayank Dhingra 09 Jan 2019

In November 2017, Tata Elxsi signed BlackBerry as a value-added integrator to help companies design and develop secure, mission-critical solutions using BlackBerry QNX technologies.

BlackBerry has unveiled the world’s first digital cockpit solution that empowers automakers to provide the in-car experience drivers want, with the security, safety, and reliability they need. And there's an Indian connect to that in the form of Tata Elxsi as a technology provider.

The company says the QNX Platform for digital cockpits enables automakers to offer a reliable and secure QNX-based digital instrument cluster and infotainment system that provides access to the latest Android-based applications such as Google Maps and Google Play Music all from a single ECU.

BlackBerry’s ISO 26262 safety-certified hypervisor makes sure the multiple operating system environments powering the cluster, infotainment, and other driver information systems do not interfere with one another. This isolation is important because if an app crashes, is compromised, or needs to be updated, it will not impact critical-driving functions.

The Blackberry QNX Platform for digital cockpits, in addition to other innovations, is being demonstrated in a 2019 Karma Revero concept car in BlackBerry’s booth – #7523 – at CES 2019 (Image: Karma Automotive/Twitter).

New go-to-market strategy
BlackBerry’s QNX Platform for Digital Cockpits illustrates the company’s new go-to-market strategy, which is to develop and sell vertical solutions that bundle complementary products. For example, the QNX Platform for Digital Cockpits combines BlackBerry’s safety-certified QNX Hypervisor for Safety, QNX Platform for Instrument ClustersQNX CAR Platform for Infotainment, and a secure Android implementation. By delivering this cockpit solution, it will help accelerate automakers’ development timelines and reduce the risk and cost of moving projects from research to production.

“As the ECUs in a car consolidate, automakers are seeking safe, secure, and reliable solutions that are flexible enough to deliver a unique driving experience,” said John Wall, senior vice-president and co-head of BlackBerry Technology Solutions, BlackBerry. “After two years of constant improvement and testing, we have built the world’s first safety-certified digital cockpit that enables secure Android apps in the car. We believe being able to provide this level of security will be a key differentiator for automakers as consumers begin to weigh security and data privacy when purchasing a vehicle.”

Speaking to Autocar Professional, Grant Courville, VP - Product Management and Strategy, BlackBerry QNX said: “QNX has helped to rework and tune car acoustics, as well as integrate ADAS functions into new vehicle platforms. QNX 1.0 was released in 2016, with the second update coming out in 2018, and enabling premium carmakers such as Daimler to bring their products quickly to the market. At CES 2019, we have showcased the highest level of safety for the vehicle cockpit. Android applications are subject to security threats and that is a big challenge for automakers. As a result, we have used our QNX car platform for infotainment systems and make them encrypted with multiple security layers to not be vulnerable.”

“Our relationship with Tata Elxsi is very close and we have partnered with them so as to expand in one of the major growth areas in Asia, other than China. We have already seen a very good growth in this  region and we are expecting the space of vehicle connectivity to boom in the future in India,” Courville added.

India’s Tata Elxsi partners Blackberry for QNX Platform
BlackBerry's QNX Platform for Digital Cockpits is made possible thanks to a partnership with Tata Elxsi which provides customisations and support for Android and ensures Android updates and customisations are available for the lifetime of the vehicle.

The development builds on the companies’ multi-year partnership, first announced in 2017, that saw Tata Elxsi sign on with BlackBerry as a value-added integrator to help companies design and develop secure, mission-critical solutions using BlackBerry QNX technologies.

“We have been enabling the Android ecosystem for mobile, Smart TV and automotive for over 10 years with our Android Center of Excellence,” said Nitin Pai, senior vice-President of Marketing and Strategy, Tata Elxsi. “The Tata Elxsi–BlackBerry partnership brings together two global and world-class companies to deliver a future-ready and yet secure digital cockpit platform with the quality and long-term support assurance that automakers seek from platform and solution providers.”

BlackBerry provides OEMs around the world with state-of-the-art technology to protect hardware, software, applications, and end-to-end systems from cyberattacks. BlackBerry’s development prowess in safety, security, and continued innovation has led to its QNX technology being embedded in more than 120 million vehicles on the road today, as well as automotive design wins with Baidu, Delphi, Denso, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Visteon, Jaguar Land Rover, BYTON, and more. 

An early release of the QNX Platform for Digital Cockpits, in addition to other innovations, is being demonstrated in a 2019 Karma Revero concept car in BlackBerry’s booth, #7523 (LVCC North Hall) at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas from January 8 - 11, 2019. The Digital Cockpit platform is also be demonstrated at the Tata Elxsi booth #815 (Tech East, Westgate) at the CES 2019.

Also read: Interview with Tata Elxsi's Nitin Pai: 'We have ready-to- deploy ADAS algorithms for L1, L2 and L3 levels of autonomy.'


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