BlackBerry wants to drive your car for you

BlackBerry. You may remember them as the company that stuck with keyboards on phones long after people stopped demanding keyboards on phones, and its own operating system long after people wanted iOS or Android instead. Well, they’re looking to add an additional string to their bow in the self-driving car market.

BlackBerry wants to drive your car for you

The technology is powered by BlackBerry’s QNX operating system, which is better known for powering in-car infotainment systems. With plenty of car manufacturers already using this (the company claims more than 40 do), BlackBerry is hoping it will be easier to get a foothold in what’s becoming a fiercely competitive space. The move puts them on a (figurative) collision course with the likes of Tesla, Google and Apple. Say what you like about BlackBerry, but they sure like to pick their battles.

Here’s BlackBerry CEO John Chen talking to CNBC about the plans in detail:

At CES 2016 in Las Vegas, the company showed off demo cars that scan for obstacles, stick to lanes and wirelessly communicate with nearby vehicles.

We are not doing the algorithms that make decisions on driving,” Derek Kuhn, senior vice president of Internet of Things at BlackBerry, told Bloomberg. “We’re providing the building blocks on which the electronics and automotive companies can make those decisions.”

It’s a bold move, for sure, and for all the competition, it’s still less crowded than BlackBerry’s old stomping ground, the smartphone market. It’ll be fascinating to see if the company can beat its old rivals at an entirely different game on a more even playing field.

READ NEXT: Who takes the blame if a driverless car kills someone?

Images: Ben Stassen used under Creative Commons

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