Company / division: QNX
BlackBerry’s QNX division already makes the operating systems that power many cars today, and it’s just announced a new version of its OS for cars titled QNX Hypervisor 2.0. The key selling point of the new version is that it better partitions the safety-critical and non-safety-critical elements of the OS and the services they support in order to both prevent localized glitches from crippling the whole car and also insulate safety-critical functions from hacks that penetrate, say, the infotainment system. The implication of both of those, of course, is that there could be glitches or hacks that would penetrate certain systems, which seems a realistic if not a heartening concession. But as Android and other operating systems make their way into cars, being able to separate functions relating to driving tasks from those that merely deal with infotainment and other elements of the in-car experience is going to be increasingly important, and BlackBerry/QNX is emphasizing that element. I also wonder if it means QNX will be more able to operate as part of a hybrid operating system environment within cars, where infotainment features might be powered by the new version of Android for center consoles while driving features are still powered by QNX.
BlackBerry QNX Launches its Most Advanced and Secure Embedded Software Platform for Autonomous Drive and Connected Cars – BlackBerry (Jan 4, 2017)
BlackBerry’s QNX is one of the leading in-car operating systems, acquired by BlackBerry from Harman some years ago. In the context of the demise of BlackBerry’s hardware business, this is one of several software businesses that forms the core of what the company will be going forward. It seems to be moving fast in providing support for some of the new things carmakers are doing, including autonomous driving, and QNX is definitely one of several big tech names to watch in the car tech space.