Former manufacturer smartphones BlackBerry will provide the operating system for Baidu's Apollo autonomous driving open platform.

Baidu Group President and COO Lu Qi attends the WM Motor brand launch event in Shanghai, China, on December 11, 2017.
Baidu Group President and COO Lu Qi attends the WM Motor brand launch event in Shanghai, China, on December 11, 2017. (Reuters)

Canadian telecommunications software company BlackBerry and China's web giant Baidu on Wednesday announced a partnership for autonomous and connected vehicles.

"The two companies will collaborate to accelerate the deployment of connected and autonomous vehicle technology for automotive OEMs and suppliers worldwide," they said in a statement.

BlackBerry's operating system will be "the foundation for Baidu's Apollo autonomous driving open platform," the statement said.

In September, Baidu announced a $1.5 billion investment in autonomous driving projects over the next three years, as it seeks to diversify its portfolio and compete with rivals such as Google.

BlackBerry, after abandoning the manufacture of its once-popular smartphones, has refocused its core business on cybersecurity software and services.

Source: AFP