Security software and services company BlackBerry's (NYSE: BB) stock jumped as much as 12.8% on Wednesday, and is up about 12.2% at the time of this writing.
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The rise follows an announcement Wednesday morning that BlackBerry and Chinese online search company Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) are partnering to help accelerate the deployment of autonomous vehicle technology. Specifically, an agreement between the two companies will make BlackBerry QNX the operating system platform for Baidu's Apollo autonomous driving open platform.
"By integrating the BlackBerry QNX OS with the Apollo platform, we will enable carmakers to leap from prototype to production systems," said Li Zhenyu, general manager of BlackBerry's Intelligent Driving Group.
But integration could deepen in the future. Possible integration opportunities for multiple vehicle subsystems include infotainment, gateways, cloud services, and more, explained John Wall, BlackBerry's QNX senior vice president and general manager.
This integration not only highlights an important partnership between BlackBerry and Baidu, but it takes the Apollo technology one step closer to bringing to market a production-ready autonomous driving system in volume -- a move that would give both Baidu and BlackBerry greater exposure to a valuable, nascent market.
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