Following an earlier report that Apple hired former BlackBerry employee and founder of the company’s QNX operating system, a new Bloomberg story today details Apple’s expansion of an R&D facility in Canada housing dozens of engineers that appear to be working on car related software.
The report points to many hires coming from BlackBerry’s QNX teams, which it notes is currently used as an underlying operating system in over 60 million cars. The team is located in Kanata, Ontario, Canada, the hometown of Blackberry’s QNX where Apple reportedly leased R&D office space back in January:
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Apple Inc. has dozens of software engineers in Canada building a car operating system… Many of the engineers working in Canada were hired over the past year and about two dozen came from BlackBerry Ltd.’s QNX, a leading automotive software provider, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing details of a secret project.
It’s unclear exactly what the team is working on at the Canadian office.
In addition to the R&D facility in Canada, Bloomberg offers more details on a group separate from the Canadian office that reportedly continues work on self-driving technologies:
A separate Apple team is developing software that would guide future self-driving cars and run on the operating system… Apple engineers envisioned a heads-up display showing apps such as maps that could be manipulated by the company’s voice-based digital assistant Siri, according to a person familiar with the matter… a self-driving platform simulation group, according to one of the people familiar with the situation. Apple has developed simulators that use virtual reality to test the self-driving software without taking the system onto public roads
Today’s report follows an earlier Bloomberg story claiming that Apple had halted development of its much rumored electric car efforts known as ‘Project Titan’. At the time, the report said the project would be restructured to focus on an autonomous self-driving platform.