BlackBerry has signed a deal to work directly with Ford Motor to expand the carmaker's use of its QNX secure operating system, the Canadian technology company said on Monday. BlackBerry will dedicate a team of engineers to work with Ford on expanding the use of the QNX Neutrino operating system, Certicom security technology, the QNX hypervisor, and QNX audio-processing software in developing the next generation of connected cars.
Ford has been using software built by BlackBerry’s QNX unit for its Sync3 in-car infotainment system, but previously bought it through Panasonic, QNX general manager John Wall said. The deal cuts out the middleman and will let BlackBerry work on more software products with Ford, Wall said.
QNX is almost exclusively used for in-car infotainment systems, but the company has been talking up the potential of self-driving car software.
The new agreement between the two companies will further help Ford design a secure and reliable platform that can power almost every aspect of the connected car.
For Blackberry, the agreement with Ford signifies the acceleration in the company’s pivot from hardware to software and extends its position in the automotive sector, where security and mobility are critical for the connected car.
While companies including Tesla and Mercedes already have launched semi-autonomous cars, Ford has a more ambitious goal. This summer, Ford annou