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Automotive: Safety, Security, and Reliability

The safety certified and secure foundational software for autonomous and connected vehicles


There Can Be No Safety Without Security

A modern vehicle has over 100 million lines of code and autonomous vehicles will contain the most complex software ever deployed by automakers. In addition to the size of software, the software supply chain, made up of multiple tiers of software suppliers, is unlikely to have common established coding and security standards. This adds a layer of uncertainty in the development of a vehicle. With increased reliance on software to control critical driving functions, software needs to adhere to three primary tenets, Safety, Security, and Reliability.

Functional Safety

IEC 61508 has been the dominant international standard for functional safety and is the basic functional safety standard applicable to many industries such as rail and industrial control. The automotive-specific safety standard derived from IEC 61508 is ISO 26262, which was first released in 2011. Modern vehicles require safety certification to ISO 26262 for systems such as ADAS and digital instrument clusters. Some of these critical systems require software that is pre-certified up to ISO 26262 ASIL D, the highest safety integrity level.

Building an automotive system compliant with ISO 26262 is a significant task. As these systems evolve to adopt more powerful hardware and sophisticated software, it becomes harder to meet functional safety requirements. BlackBerry QNX eases the challenges of building ISO 26262 compliant automotive systems through its solutions. The BlackBerry QNX safety solutions mitigate risk of non-compliance and reduce development and certification costs.


Auto cybersecurity is on national agendas because automobiles are increasingly connected to the Internet and other systems that hackers can commandeer and render dangerous, amongst other undesirable outcomes. As the software in a car grows so does the attack surface, which makes it more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Each poorly constructed piece of software represents a potential vulnerability that can be exploited. The problem is complex and the point-solutions that exist today are fragmented, leaving a very porous and “hackable” system.

BlackBerry QNX has the broadest portfolio of software products and tools to protect vehicles against cybersecurity attacks. Security should not be a bolt-on afterthought but should be inherent in every stage of design, development and testing. In addition to the best-in-class safety -certified operating system, BlackBerry provides a host of security products such as managed PKI, FIPS 140-2 certified toolkits, key inject tools, binary code static analysis tools, security credential management systems (SCMS), and Over The Air (OTA) Software Update for autonomous and connected vehicles. These automotive security offerings are augmented by BlackBerry Cybersecurity Consulting, whose sole aim is to assess and thwart cybersecurity risks for organizations.


The electronic architecture of the vehicle is evolving from being hardware-driven to software-defined. BlackBerry QNX is enabling this evolution by establishing itself as the premiere foundational software platform for high performance domain controllers in the vehicle.  With a significant uptake from the automotive industry’s biggest OEM and Tier 1 brands, BlackBerry QNX technology has become ubiquitous to automotive software – entrenching BlackBerry QNX as an industry leader.

This leadership is predicated on the reliability and trust of working with BlackBerry QNX. Having worked on over 290 automotive programs, BlackBerry QNX has remarkably never missed a start of production deadline. That means there have been no software delays, no issues delivering new products, no task too complex that have affected delivery of its software.

The core of the BlackBerry QNX offering is an operating system that is designed with a microkernel architecture that separates critical OS components into their own protected memory partitions that ensures one fault won’t bring the system down, unlike a monolithic OS that places them all together. The BlackBerry QNX operating system is quite simply the most advanced and secure embedded OS developed for the automotive market.

Information graphic about automotive reliability.


QNX Hypervisor

The QNX Hypervisor is a foundational element of a safe and secure domain controller because it enables developers to partition, separate, and isolate environments of mixed criticality to run on a single ECU.

Learn about QNX Hypervisor

QNX OS for Safety

QNX OS for Safety is a software solution that provides the reliable foundation necessary for building competitive automotive systems that are pre-certified to the highest level of ISO 26262 – ASIL D.

Learn about QNX OS for Safety


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