BlackBerry plans to invest $75 million in a new autonomous vehicle testing hub over several years, the company's chief executive said on Monday.
According to John Chen, most of the money will go to engineering jobs.
BlackBerry will initially work with middleware supplier PolySync and semiconductor company Renesas Electronics, as well as its hometown University of Waterloo on its autonomous driving project, but hopes to welcome more companies to its Ottawa facility.
The company, which is racing to increase software sales as its handset unit and related legacy service access fees shrink, hopes to make itself indispensable in the automotive industry's looming self-driving arms race.
BlackBerry is hoping its security and safety credentials help it win a seat at the table as an array of automakers, chip and sensor providers and software developers work in competitive co-operation to bring self-driving cars to the mass market.