Ford partners with BlackBerry to roll out connected car tech


Ford has taken another step toward its wish to have fleets of fully autonomous cars on the road within five years, as it expands the use of BlackBerry software in some of its cars. 

The announcement about the extended partnership was made this week, and builds on the existing use of BlackBerry's software, QNX Neutrino, in Ford's SYNC 3 infotainment system. 

A BlackBerry team of engineers will now work solely on expanding QNX Neutrono operating system, its Certicom security technology, the QNX hypervisor and QNX audio-processing software in developing the next gen of connected cars. 

BlackBerry's QNZ  software currently powers over 60 million vehicles, and is best known as a platform for infotainment and 3D navigation.

While the terms of the deal are confidential, the activity may be an indication that the company is coming into its own again, following the rise and then fall of its once-popular handsets.

The future 

Executive chairman and CEO at BlackBerry John Chen said he thinks the future of the car "is all about embedded intelligence".

"I believe our expertise in secure embedded software makes us the preferred technology provider to put the smart in the car. Ford is an industry leader and the opportunity to contribute our world-class technology to their products is a privilege," he added. 

Ford says its SYNC 3 system, based on BlackBerry's QNX operating system, has been a success around the world. Growing its experience on the QNX platforms will lay the foundation for further connected car experiences - maybe even helping to build the fleets of autonomous cars it's set its sights on.

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