BlackBerry launched a container platform designed to provide a level of security for the development of connected vehicle software. The platform is coming from the company’s QNX Software division.
The company said the hypervisor product is based on its QNX 64-bit embedded operating system. The platform creates virtual software containers that allow developers to partition “safety-critical environments.” This can allow for the isolation of a security breach or malfunction of a system from spreading to other vehicle operations.
Chip giant Qualcomm has signed on to adopt the platform as part of its digital cockpit solutions. The company noted the BlackBerry product can help support automakers’ integration of non-critical uses such as infotainment as well as critical uses such as digital instrumentation onto the same chipset.
The announcement came on the heels of Toyota announcing plans to move its in-car infotainment systems away from QNX and to the open-source Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) platform. QNX countered the move by claiming open-source platforms lack the security offered by its product.
“My belief is it is very difficult for AGL to enter a safety-certified arena,” said John Wall, head of QNX, to The Globe and Mail. “Open source is always inherently less secure.”
BlackBerry, which is most known for at one time dominating the smartphone market, late last year opened its autonomous vehicle innovation center at its headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario. The company has garnered provincial approval to test autonomous vehicles on public roads.
Container security has become a growing concern as the technology continues to gain attention. A recent Forrester report found 31 percent of enterprise cloud developers are using containers in development and test environments.
However, with containers running on a single Linux host kernel, a vulnerability can be spread and shared across multiple deployments.
A highly publicized attack on the electronics system of a Jeep showed the ability to take control of the vehicle through its embedded Internet connectivity.