NEW YORK – October 4, 2018 – BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) and Virginia Tech announced today that they are partnering to educate the mechanical engineers of tomorrow on BlackBerry QNX technology – the leading safety-certified, secure and reliable software for connected and autonomous cars.
As part of the agreement, BlackBerry will help advance the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s connected and autonomous vehicle research and provide hands-on training with BlackBerry QNX software. Additionally, BlackBerry has provided its QNX technology for use in Virginia Tech’s autonomous vehicle concept cars which are competing in the international AutoDrive Challenge under the Team Victor Tango banner.
“As the world advances towards a driverless future, the need for engineers who specialize in safety-certified software has never been more important,” said Grant Courville, VP of Product Management at BlackBerry QNX. “Virginia Tech has a well-earned reputation for developing engineers who can make an immediate impact. We’re thrilled to bolster their already impressive program by providing students with cutting-edge knowledge and tools that will allow them to solve real industry problems and to innovate as the evolution of connected and autonomous vehicles shifts into high gear.”
“It is important that our students know what’s happening on the front lines of the connected and autonomous vehicle industry and our partnership with BlackBerry helps by giving them access to the latest automotive-grade software,” said Al Wicks, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech. “My goal is to get our students to a place where they are industry-ready with real experience to offer to an employer. With BlackBerry QNX’s help, there is no question that together we will achieve this, setting the next generation up with the tools they need to shape the future of transportation for drivers, passengers and pedestrians alike.”
Virginia Tech’s engineering programs represented by the AutoDrive competition team, trains students in all aspects of connected and autonomous vehicle engineering and development. Courses include Mechatronics, Computer Vision, Robot Motion Planning and Machine Learning. In response to the DARPA challenges, Virginia Tech began research into ground vehicle autonomy in 2003 and since then many students have gone on to senior positions within the automotive industry including for companies such as TORC Robotics, Uber, Google, GM and Argo AI.
BlackBerry QNX provides OEMs around the world with state-of-the-art technology to protect hardware, software, applications and end-to-end systems from cyberattacks. BlackBerry QNX’s pedigree in safety, security and continued innovation has led to its technology being embedded in more than 120 million vehicles on the road today, as well as recent automotive design wins with Baidu, Delphi, Denso, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Visteon, Jaguar Land Rover, BYTON and others.
BlackBerry is an enterprise software and services company focused on securing and managing IoT endpoints. The company does this with BlackBerry® Secure™, an end-to-end Enterprise of Things platform, comprised of its enterprise communication and collaboration software and safety-certified embedded solutions. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, the company was founded in 1984 and operates in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa. The Company trades under the ticker symbol “BB” on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange. For more information, visit www.BlackBerry.com.
About Virginia Tech’s Department of Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineering is the broadest and most diverse of engineering disciplines, encompassing a variety of engineering fields and a wide range of technologies and products which affect numerous aspects of human life and society. Mechanical engineers’ study, innovate, design, and develop a variety of products extending from robots to automated cars, jet engines to satellites, medical instruments to artificial organs, biomedical products to disease mitigating mechanisms, manufacturing tools to modern materials, and smart transportation systems to advanced utility networks, among numerous others. Our comprehensive state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories provide unprecedented opportunities for students to learn, practice, and conduct research with numerous opportunities for cross- and inter-disciplinary research and study. For more information, visit www.me.vt.edu
About Team Victor Tango
Now is an exciting time to be a part of autonomous vehicle development; a sudden confluence of factors has sent academia, industry, and government scrambling to develop, implement, and regulate nascent technologies. In the past few years, sensors have become cheaper, machine learning has dramatically improved, and electric vehicles have become far more commonplace. These changes compelled companies to invest billions in autonomous car startups. Virginia Tech is now further investing in the race for autonomous vehicles – Victor Tango AutoDrive is competing in the international AutoDrive Challenge sponsored by General Motors (GM) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Eight selected universities are challenges to plan, design, and implement a fully autonomous vehicle within three years. The Virginia Tech team strives to understand and appreciate the social impact: the public’s attitudes on autonomy will be investigated, with the team conducting outreach and educational events relating to autonomy. For more information, visit www.vtautodrive.org.
BlackBerry and related trademarks, names and logos are the property of BlackBerry Limited and are registered and/or used in the U.S. and countries around the world. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. BlackBerry is not responsible for any third-party products or services.
Virginia Tech Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
BlackBerry Investor Relations