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BlackBerry waves goodbye to phones and hello to autonomous cars

Days after selling off its hardware business, BlackBerry has announced its intentions to develop software for self-driving cars.

The fallen smartphone giant is opening a research centre in the Canadian city of Ottawa.

The Innovation Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles will focus on the development of production-ready software, both independently and with partners.

Related: Best self-driving tech from Geneva Motor Show

BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the company’s software would be both sophisticated and secure and predicted the firm could dominate the emerging market.

In a press release, he said: “Autonomous vehicles require software that is extremely sophisticated and highly secure.

Our innovation track record in mobile security and our demonstrated leadership in automotive software make us ideally suited to dominate the market for embedded intelligence in the cars of the future.”

BlackBerry is working with partners to create an autonomous concept vehicle that will be tested on roads in Ontario. However, the company isn’t planning to build its own production vehicles.

Such was the significance of BlackBerry’s unveiling, it brought Canadian Prime Minister Justin Thudeau to the party.

He said: “With the opening of its innovation centre in Ottawa, BlackBerry is helping to establish our country as the global leader in software and security for connected car and autonomous vehicle development.”

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