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CES: BlackBerry QNX launches new car OS

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At CES in Las Vegas this week, BlackBerry announced its QNX Software Development Platform 7.0. This 64-bit OS is said to raise the bar for security and performance in cars.

At CES 2017 in Las Vegas this week, BlackBerry announced its most advanced and secure embedded operating system (OS) for the automotive industry. QNX Software Development Platform 7.0 (QNX SDP 7.0) is a 64-bit OS that “raises the bar for security and performance in cars”. At CES 2017, the technological capabilities of QNX SDP 7.0 is being demonstrated in BlackBerry QNX’s 2016 Jaguar XJ and 2017 Lincoln MKZ concept cars.

“With the push toward connected and autonomous vehicles, the electronic architecture of cars is evolving – from a multitude of smaller processors each executing a dedicated function, to a set of high performance domain controllers, powered by 64-bit processors and graphical processing units,” said John Wall, senior vice president and head of BlackBerry QNX.

“To develop these new systems, our automotive customers will need a safe and secure 64-bit OS that can run highly complex software, including neural networks and artificial intelligence algorithms. QNX SDP 7.0 is suited not only for cars, but also for almost any safety- or mission-critical application that requires 64-bit performance and advanced security. This includes surgical robots, industrial controllers and high-speed trains.”

BlackBerry provided the following information:

QNX SDP 7.0 provides high performance and enhanced kernel-level security through an array of features, including microkernel architecture, file encryption, adaptive time partitioning, a high availability framework, anomaly detection, and multi-level policy-based access control.

Featuring the next-generation QNX Neutrino Realtime OS and QNX Momentics Tool Suite, this reliable OS helps guard against system malfunctions, malware, and cyber attacks by implementing a multi-level, policy-driven security model that incorporates best-in-class security technology from BlackBerry. The OS also offers a safety pedigree proven by certification to ISO 26262 ASIL D (the highest level achievable) for automobiles and to IEC 61508 SIL 3 for industrial automation systems, and by compliance with IEC 62304 for life-critical Class III medical devices.

As automakers look to consolidate domain functions such as infotainment, telematics, and digital instrument clusters into a virtual cockpit controller, QNX SDP 7.0 provides a realtime OS that supports 64-bit for the ARMv8 and Intel x86-64 architectures, along with virtualization capabilities. QNX SDP 7.0 can help ensure that these automated systems perform all processes and actions reliably, within the pre-defined amount of time needed for successful and safe execution.

Must-See Concept Cars at CES

BlackBerry QNX is unveiling a Jaguar XJ concept car with a new digital cockpit design that combines the infotainment and instrument cluster functionality. It shows two operating systems running safely and securely on a single System-on-a-Chip (SoC) processor. BlackBerry QNX hypervisor software safely separates and isolates the infotainment system and graphics, meaning the infotainment system can safely re-start without affecting the instrument cluster. BlackBerry worked with Rightware Cluster UI to build the QNX Cluster graphics monitor that can detect failures in the safety system.

The Jaguar XJ concept car also features BlackBerry’s QNX Acoustics Management Platform (AMP) for clear high-definition in-car communication, active noise control, and engine sound enhancement.

BlackBerry QNX is also taking the wraps off of its autonomous Lincoln MKZ concept car, showing QNX SDP 7.0 capabilities in action on Renesas’ CES test track. BlackBerry QNX worked with Renesas, the University of Waterloo, and Polysync to develop the prototype vehicle that demonstrates Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities.

Using LiDAR, radar, forward-facing cameras, global positioning systems (GPS), and inertial measurement units (IMU), the car can detect obstacles on the road, anticipate dangerous driving situations, and present warnings to avoid collisions to keep drivers and passengers safe. The QNX Platform for ADAS processes data generated from the sensors in realtime, and also records and plays back the data off-line for feature development and testing.

Also on display at BlackBerry’s CES booth is a 2017 Aston Martin Vanquish model that is now shipping with BlackBerry QNX’s latest in-vehicle infotainment software technology. The new infotainment system is the control center, seamlessly integrating audio, hands-free communication and vehicle status technologies into the cabin. It also has an upgraded satellite navigation system with a quicker address input, advanced traffic information, and support for Apple CarPlay.

BlackBerry Radar

BlackBerry is also showcasing BlackBerry Radar, its secure end-to-end hardware and software asset tracking solution for the transportation and logistics industry. Radar provides more sensor readings, more often than any other solution on the market today. This allows customers to accurately monitor assets, manage yards, analyze utilization, measure efficiency, and reduce theft based on a near realtime view of the fleet.

Availability

QNX SDP 7.0 is the latest in a string of momentum updates BlackBerry has made in its software transformation, and comes less than a month after the company released a mobile-native, secure software platform for the Enterprise of Things, and two weeks after the unveiling of the BlackBerry QNX Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre. The beta release of QNX SDP 7.0 is available now for evaluation and product development. General availability is scheduled for Q1 2017.

Cars

Bloodhound land speed record attempt in SA back on track

The Bloodhound land speed record attempt is back on track, with the news that the team will be going to Hakskeen Pan in South Africa in October for high-speed testing.

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The Bloodhound land speed record attempt is back on track, with the news that the Bloodhound team will be going to Hakskeen Pan in South Africa in October 2019 for high-speed testing.

The plans were confirmed at a press conference last week by Bloodhound LSR CEO Ian Warhurst.

“I’m thrilled that we can announce Bloodhound’s first trip to South Africa for these high-speed testing runs,” he said

“This world land speed record campaign is unlike any other, with the opportunities opened up by digital technology that enabled the team to test the car’s design using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and that will allow us to gather and share data about the car’s performance in real-time.”

Why High-Speed Testing?
The Bloodhound LSR team says it has been hard at work preparing the car for these high-speed test runs, upgrading and changing many aspects of the car following successful low-speed test runs at Cornwall Airport Newquay in 2017.

It said in a newsletter last week: “We’ll be using the high speed runs to test the car’s performance and handling at much higher speeds. It will also be a full dress rehearsal for the overall record-breaking campaign. This will include developing operational procedures, perfecting our practices for desert working and testing radio communications.”

One of the most obvious changes to the car is the wheels, which have been swapped for the specially designed solid aluminium desert wheels.

Warhurst said: “We’re running the car on a brand new surface. The wheels have been designed specifically for this desert lake bed, but it will still be vital to test them at high speeds before making record speed runs.”

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This car responds to moods

Jaguar Land Rover is developing new AI technology to better understand changes in the driver’s mood while behind the wheel

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Jaguar Land Rover is researching new artificial intelligence (AI) technology to understand our state of mind while driving – and adjust cabin settings to improve driver wellbeing.

The technology uses a driver-facing camera and biometric sensing to monitor and evaluate the driver’s mood and adapt a host of cabin features, including the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, media and ambient lighting. The settings will be altered in response to the driver’s facial expressions to help tackle stress. Reports suggest 74 per cent of us admit to feeling stressed or overwhelmed every day*. 

The mood-detection system will use the latest AI techniques to continually adapt to nuances in the driver’s facial expressions and implement appropriate settings automatically. In time the system will learn a driver’s preference and make increasingly tailored adjustments.

Personalisation settings could include changing the ambient lighting to calming colours if the system detects the driver is under stress, selecting a favourite playlist if signs of weariness are identified, and lowering the temperature in response to yawning or other signs of tiring.

Jaguar Land Rover is also trialing similar technology for rear passengers, with a camera mounted in the headrest. If the system detects signs of tiredness, it could dim the lights, tint the windows and raise the temperature in the back, to help an occupant get to sleep.

Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Medical Officer, said: “As we move towards a self-driving future, the emphasis for us remains as much on the driver as it ever has. By taking a holistic approach to the individual driver, and implementing much of what we’ve learnt from the advances in research around personal wellbeing over the last 10 or 15 years, we can make sure our customers remain comfortable, engaged and alert behind the wheel in all driving scenarios, even monotonous motorway journeys.”

The new mood–detection system is one of a suite of technologies that Jaguar Land Rover is exploring as part of its ‘tranquil sanctuary’ vision to improve the driving experience. Designed to create a sanctuary inside each of its luxury vehicles, the manufacturer is trialing a wide range of driver and passenger wellbeing features, to ensure occupants are as comfortable as possible whilst ensuring the driver remains mindful, alert and in control.

Mood-detection software is the next-generation of Jaguar Land Rover’s existing driver tracking technology. The Driver Condition Monitor, which is capable of detecting if a driver is starting to feel drowsy and will give an early warning to take a break, is available on all Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles. 

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