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BlackBerry Stock Climbs on Baidu Self-Driving Car Partnership

Shares of BlackBerry BB, the mobile phone maker turned software provider, climbed more than 5% in morning trading Wednesday after the company announced it will work with internet giant Baidu BIDU on a self-driving car project.

BlackBerry management said today that Baidu will use its QNX Hypervisor 2.0 software, which is designed for complex in-vehicle computer systems, in the Chinese firm’s open-source self-driving platform, Apollo.

“By integrating the BlackBerry QNX OS with the Apollo platform, we will enable carmakers to leap from prototype to production systems,” added Li Zhenyu, head of Baidu’s intelligent driving division.

BlackBerry joins a growing list of tech companies that have contributed to Apollo. Last summer, Microsoft MSFT announced that its Azure cloud platform would help Apollo’s reach outside of China, making it one of roughly 50 brands working on the project.

“Our goal with Apollo is to provide an open and powerful platform to the automotive industry to further the goal of autonomous vehicles,” Baidu president Ya-Qin Zhang said at the time (also read: Microsoft & Baidu Partner On Autonomous Cars).

Other notable companies that have collaborated with Baidu include Nvidia NVDA, Bosch BOCH, and Continental.

For BlackBerry, the new partnership is one of several that it has formed in the growing self-driving car market. The software firm has also signed deals to work with chipmaker Qualcomm QCOM, as well as auto tech companies Aptiv APTV and Denso DNZOY.

“The opportunity is global, it’s for a very large market and I think it’s a very solid win for BlackBerry,” CIBC Capital Markets analyst Todd Coupland, via Reuters.

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