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Blackberry Ventures Into The Driverless Car Industry, Will Work Closely With Ford

Blackberry Ventures Into The Driverless Car Industry, Will Work Closely With Ford
BlackBerry is now venturing into the world of automated and self-driving cars.
The once mobile phone maker has struck a deal to cooperate with directly with Ford Motor for expanding the use of the QNX secure operating system of the car maker. This is part of Ford’s push to develop automated vehicles.
After giving up its phone business, BlackBerry now is also engaged in the sale of its technology to the suppliers in the auto industry. But this deal with Ford is the first direct venture of the company where it would work closely with a major auto maker.
BlackBerry – once a leading name in the cell pone industry, had to concede its smart phone business to the likes of Alphabet’s Google, Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics. It is engaged in the creation and sale of software products now and its bet now is on such software to companies in the auto industry as well as other manufacturers.
QNX software is used by Panasonic Automotive at present in the Sync 3 infotainment console that it manufactures and sells to Ford.
While investigating the possibility of the use of BlackBerry’s software in other systems at Ford, BlackBerry now expects to expand the reach and use of its software following the new deal with Ford.
“We can form the basis of the entire vehicle all the way from autonomous drive through to infotainment,” John Wall, the head of BlackBerry’s QNX unit, said.
Back in August this year, Ford announced that by 2021 it would be able to offer its first completely automated vehicle for the commercial ride-share industry even as the auto maker is also working toward expanding the scope for itself inn the automated car segment.
According to Wall, authorities have certified the use of QNX’s software in autonomous driving and active safety systems.
“In the initial engagements you can think of an expansion into the cockpit; telematics, infotainment, cluster,” Wall said.
No information has however been released by either BlackBerry or Ford about the particulars of the roll out of QNX into new systems at Ford as well as the financial aspects of the deal between the two companies.
BlackBerry said that the company would depute a team of QNX engineers who would work dedicatedly from Ottawa and Waterloo with Ford for expansion of the use of the Neutrino industrial operating system of the car maker. The two companies would also work together for the development of an overarching program which would have the capability of controlling the other operating systems and the associated security technologies in the Ford’s autonomous cars.
“We’re providing the plumbing for the vehicle that is both robust and safe and secure to allow the customers to build their applications on top of that,” Wall said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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