Blackberry’s Maserati Quattroporte QNX concept puts impressive tech in an attractive package

When Blackberry decided to showcase some automotive-relevant applications for its QNX operating system at CES, it picked the perfect car.

The company decked out a Maserati Quattroporte with an array of cameras, LiDAR, and ultrasonic sensors like the ones that form the basis for most self-driving cars.

In this Maserati concept, though, they’re used as part of a comprehensive warning system for a human driver.

The car has digital displays in place of conventional side-view mirrors, plus a fully-digital instrument cluster. The onboard cameras send video feed to the “mirrors,” while the LiDAR and ultrasonic sensors help spot other obstacles that might be out of the field of view.

Warnings are shown to the driver on the digital instrument cluster, and mirrors, but Blackberry has found some less-serious applications for its tech as well.

There’s a large touchscreen on the Maserati’s center console – a la Tesla Model S – that supports gesture control and a voice recognition system Blackberry says is sophisticated enough to understand indirect commands like “it’s way too cold in here.”

QNX is already being used in automotive applications, including Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system, but it seems Blackberry wants to get more involved.

Autonomous driving seems somewhat against the point of a Maserati, but the bright blue Quattroporte’s good looks certainly couldn’t have hurt its chances of getting attention on the CES floor.

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